ci,*i ^3, / 9/ ^,
M. R- FL-ETCHER
OWlOHT BAPTit- CHUROH
ALABAMA CITY. vLA
OF BAPTIST CHURCHES t;^''^' ^^ ^^ ■
AND BAPTIST LEADERS Xilui,iu«LSt^
IN NEW YORK CITY AND
VICINITY, FROM 1835-1898
GEORGE H. HANSELL
mttb an UnttoOuctlon
W. H. P. FAUNCE, D.D.
American ^Baptist publication Socictis
Copyright iSgg by
George H. Hansell
ftom tbc press of tbe
Bmerfcan Saptist publication Society
The following reminiscences of Baptist history
in the metropolis are so lucidly written that the only
introduction needed is a word of friendly apprecia-
tion. The writer makes no claim to original and
scientific research, but he may justly claim intimate
association with most of our church leaders for the
past sixty years. And while he would be the last
to say quorum pars magna fui, I may be allowed to
say for him that no man among us has been more
alert to the conditions of church life in this city, or
has rendered more devoted service, than himself.
America is usually impatient of archives and
documents. Its face is toward the future and the
sunrise. Consequently we are sadly lacking in the
historic sense, and in breadth of view. " In to-day
already walks to-morrow," said Coleridge. True ;
but in yesterday once walked to-day ; and no man
is competent to guide the church to-day unless he
knows the church of yesterday. The causes of our
present strength, the reasons for present weakness,
all lie deep rooted in the years that are gone.
The Baptist churches of this city have had some
notable leaders, both in the pulpit and in the pew ;
men of marked and pow^erful personality, who im-
pressed themselves deeply on their generation. To
revere the memory of past leaders is the way to
create leaders in the present. When Israel sang :
We have heard with our ears, God,
Our fathers have told us,
What work thou didst in their days,
In the days of old,
then Israel was ready for any battle with any foe.
Amid the changed conditions of modern city life,
new methods are needed ; but the old heroism and
simple faith and unswerving devotion are forever
indispensable to the coming of the kingdom of God.
Mr. HanselPs friends have urged upon him the
duty of writing down a narrative of men and move-
ments. It has been a labor of love on his part,
and his only object is to quicken memory and kindle
hope and stir us all to new ambition. And though
he well knows that he is working in the light of the
sunset, he works with serene and steadfast faith in
God^s great to-morrow. It is an inspiration to us
all to see those who have been long in the service
growing daily younger in hope and courage and gen-
ial optimism, and recalling the past only for the
sake of instructing and molding the future, and
cheering the young men for their new task. So in
the old Greek races, one runner handed on the torch
to another. So Jacob cried : " The Angel which
redeemed me from all evil bless the lads ! ^'
New York, June, 1899. W. H. P. FauNCE.
I. Introductory 1
II. The Baptist Churches of the City .... 7
III. The Mulberry Street Church and Rev.
Archibald Maclay 11
IV. The Oliver Street Church and Spencer H.
V. A Digression 24
VI. Oliver Street Church (Continued), 1841-
VII. North Beriah and South Baptist Churches 35
VIII. Stanton Street Baptist Church 39
IX. The North Baptist Church 49
X. The Amity Baptist Church 53
XI. Sixteenth Baptist Church 59
XII. The Tabernacle Church 62
XIII. The Norfolk Street Church (now Fifth
XIV. Rev. Thomas Armitage 76
XV. The Baptist Lay-Preaching Association 82
XVI. The Norfolk Street Church (Continued) 86
XVII. The Norfolk Street Church (Continued) 92
XVIII. The Fifth Avenue Church 96
XIX. The Fifth Avenue Church (Continued) . 103
XX. Interdenominational Services 135
XXI. The Fifth Avenue Church (Continued) . 143
XXII. The Fifth Avenue Church (Continued) . 147
XXIII. The First Church from 1841 to 1897, and
Other Churches 150
XXIV. Churches Outside the City Limits ... 180
XXV. Baptist Leaders or Leading Baptists . . 185
XXVI. A Closing Word 196
LIST OF PORTRAITS
Deacon George H. Hansell Frontispiece
Rev. Archibald Maclay, D. D 11
Rev. Spencer H. Cone, D. D 19
Rev. George Benedict 42
Rev. Thomas Armitage, D. D 76
Deacon Charles T. Goodwin 89
Hon. George H. Andrews 101
Jabez A. Bostwich 136
Deacon Benjamin F. Judson 164
Deacon William Colgate 185
REMINISCENCES OF BAPTIST CHURCHES
LEADERS IN NEW YORK CITY
IN carrying out my purpose to write these Remi-
niscences, I make no apology for the frequent
use of the personal pronoun, wherever it may seem
necessary or convenient. Furthermore, I beg that
no one will think that I aspire to literary distinc-
tion. What I shall attempt will be to narrate what
has come under my own observation concerning
Baptist churches and Baptist leaders in New York,
since I have known the city.
It will be readily seen, however, that in order to
make my narrative intelligible, I have had to gather
from others some account of persons and events liv-
ing or happening prior to my personal knowledge of
the city. Beyond this, my only aim will be to re-
late the same in simple phrase, and so far as a tol-
erably retentive memory will permit, with the most
perfect accuracy and impartiality.
Perhaps my task will be easier, and my narrative
better understood, if (without intending to be ego-
tistic) I introduce a little of my personal history.
I was born in England in the year 1814, in a
little village in the county of Essex, called Hatfield-
Peverel. This village is situated on the great east-
ern thoroughfare (called locally, the London Road)
between London and Harwich, — the former, as
everybody knows, the metropolis of Great Britain,
and the latter her principal eastern seaport, — and
distant from each just thirty-six miles.
In this village I lived until I was twenty-one
years of age, without going more than twenty-one
miles from home, and without seeing a town of more
than five thousand inhabitants, until three days be-
fore I sailed from St. Catharine's Dock, London, on
my way to America. To me, therefore, New York,
in which I landed, was a big city, although its geo-
graphical limits did not extend much beyond where
Cooper Union now stands, and its population was
three hundred thousand. London at that time had
one million two hundred and fifty thousand. I ar-
rived in this city August 4, 1835, landing at Castle
Garden, after a voyage of forty-eight days, on the
old packet ship Samson, Captain Daniel Chadwick,
from London. I stopped for a few days after my
arrival at a hotel in Frankfort Street near Chatham.
Having adjusted my baggage and eaten my dinner,
I strolled out for a walk, and providentially met my
first acquaintance in New York. I had dropped
into a boot and shoe store in William Street to ask
a question, and noticed, lying on a settee, a news-
paper called ^' The Gospel Witness." Taking it up
I found it to be a Baptist journal. As my parents
were both Baptists, I entered into conversation with
the proprietor of the store, Mr. Samuel B. Combs,
and learned that he was a member of the First Bap-
tist Church of New York. Thus commenced my
first friendship in New York. Deacon Combs in-
vited me to call again, and we saw each other fre-
quently. His kindly manners and fatherly counsel
so endeared him to me that we became fast friends,
and continued to be such until the day of his de-
parture to the "better country." Perhaps there are
some yet living who remember the genial smile with
which the good deacon welcomed his friendly callers,
and invited them to " take a seat and sit down."
The following Sunday found me in the Oliver
Street Baptist meeting-house listening with delight
to a sermon by Rev. Daniel Dodge, of Newark,
N. J., who was for that day supplying the pulpit,
while the pastor of the church, Rev. Spencer H.
Cone, was enjoying a brief vacation at his favorite
summer resort, Schooley's Mountain, N. J. Here
he was buried in 1855, and here his honored dust
sleeps beside that of his beloved wife, waiting the
resurrection of the just.
I cannot say that my interest in the Oliver Street
Church and its pastor commenced with the day on
which I first entered its meeting-house, for I had
heard of both while at home from a friend of my
grandfather, who had formerly spent a few^ years in
this city, during which he sat under Doctor Cone's
ministry. It was this prior knowledge that induced
me (the day after my arrival) to visit Oliver Street
to get a view of the exterior of the house of worship.
It was the structure that preceded the building now
occupying the same site, and, according to a tablet
on its front, was erected in 1819. The pulpit, con-
forming to the prevailing custom of that day, was
at the entrance, so that the preacher stood with his
back to the street. I had seen but one Baptist
meeting-house in England, and that would hold less
than three hundred persons when crow^ded to its ut-
most capacity. I thought, consequently, that the
Oliver Street house was really an imposing edifice.
Baptists, as I had known them, usually worshiped
in barns or small schoolrooms, or, these not being
attainable, in private houses At one time while I
was a boy I attended public worship regularly in a
long, low, narrow building which had formerly been
a rabbit-warren, and was still in contempt so called.
My father and mother were both immersed when I
was about fifteen years old, going to a town seven-
teen miles away to have the ordinance administered.
But although until that time unbaptized I have
reason to thank God that they were both Christians
before I was born. A godly parentage is the best
of all earthly heritages.
When I came to this city I had made no public
confession of Christ, and entertained no assurance
that I had been converted ; but I had read the New
Testament from early childhood. When I was but
four years old and did not '^ even know my letters,"
my grandfather gave me my first " reading lesson,"
from Gen. 1:1. At the end of a month's hard
study I could read a chapter in the New Testament,
and never doubted that immersion is the only bap-
tism. Yet I had never seen it administered until
one Lord's Day shortly after my arrival in the city,
when I saw Mr. Cone lead several converts, both
men and women, down into the pool in front of the
pulpit, where he immersed them in the name of the
Holy Trinity. I then received an impression con-
cerning the solemnity and beauty of the ordinance
such as I can never forget.
About a year thereafter I was led down into the
same baptistery by another administrator, Rev. John
Dowling, and was baptized into the fellowship of
the West Baptist Church, then worshiping in what
was known as Doctor Mitchell's old (Universalist)
church, standing on the corner of Duane Street and
City Hall Place. The site now belongs to Roman
Catholics, who took down the old building and
erected a new one, which is still standing.
Doctor Mitchell, as I have been told, was not a
Unitarian, but believed and taught that the Christ
had suffered and made an atonement for the sins of
the whole world and every one that is born into it,
and by virtue of that sacrificial atonement every in-
dividual would be saved. The reasoning seems
logical, but I do not think the conclusion is scrip-
From this time forward my interest in Baptists
and Baptist churches, the purity and constancy of
their faith, the rectitude of their lives, the inde-
pendence of their church government, acknowledging
no head but Christ their Redeemer and Lord, the
regularity of their order, and the inviolability of
their discipline, has ever been deep, constant, and
THE BAPTIST CHURCHES OF THE CITY
THE following list comprises all the Baptist
churches existing in New York City in 1835,
with the dates of their organization (so far as ascer-
tained), their location, and the pastors then occupy-
ing their pulpits :
Oliver Street, 1791,
North Beriah, 1813,
Stanton Street, 1823,
Amity Street, 1832,
Broome Street, 1834,
Second (so claimed)
Second (so claimed)
Spencer H. Cone.
Chas. G. Somers.
Jacob H. Brouner.
Wm. R. Williams.
John T. Raymond.
Jas. L. Hodge.
Wm. G. Miller. 1
Mr. Chase did not remain in Chrystie Street long,
^ For such information as I have been able to get regard-
ing the last two claims I am indebted to my friend, Mr. G.
M. Vanderlip (see later pages). I do not know on what
those claims rest.
but preached in a small church in Mott Street near
From my friend, Mr. Yanderlip, I have learned
the following: "In the year 1770 a division arose
in the First Baptist Church on the question of lin-
ing the hymns before singing, as had been the cus-
tom, or using hymn books. By a vote of the church
the latter course was adopted, and thereupon four-
teen persons asked for letters of dismission, and or-
ganized the Second Baptist Church of New York
City. In 1789 another difficulty arose in the First
Church, resulting in the exclusion of thirteen per-
sons, for opposition to the pastor, for what they
called his ^ new divinity.'
"These persons were at once received into the
Second Church, and trouble between the two churches
very naturally followed. But in January, 1890,
leave was given by the First Church to all who de-
sired (including the excluded members) to take let-
ters. Eighteen persons availed themselves of this
privilege, and these also joined the Second Church.
Among the constituent members of the latter, was
one Francis A^an Dyke, who manifested a disposi-
tion to rule the whole church. The new members
resisting this. Van Dyke, who owned the house in
which their meetings were held, closed the door
upon them. This occurred late in 1789 or at the
beginning of 1790. From 1791 the Oliver Street
Church has full minutes of its proceedings, bat pre-
viously the minutes were kept by Mr. Van Dyke,
THE BAPTIST CHURCHES OF THE CITY y
and he retained them. The majority of the mem-
bers protested against his action, and strove to con-
vince him and his adherents of their wrong-doing,
and to effect reconciliation, but in vain. Two par-
ties now claimed to be the Second Church. One
was represented by Jeremiah Dodge, Rev. John
Dodge (who joined the church in 1770), Thomas
Garniss, Samuel Jones, and Ezekiel Archer ; the
other by Mr. Van Dyke and his adherents. After
numerous hearings by conventions, councils, and in-
vestigating committees, it was decided that Thomas
Garniss and his associates were the Second Baptist
Church. Van Dyke appealed, and a mutual council
was called, but Van Dyke refused to appear before
it. Finally, in 1802, both churches abandoned the
title of Second Baptist Church. The body led by
Van Dyke took the name of Bethel Baptist Church,
which is now extinct. The other party took the
name of the Fayette Street Baptist Church, which,
when the name of the street was changed, became
the Oliver Street Baptist Church."
In the list of Baptist churches given in this chap-
ter there are but fifteen, but as a sixteenth neces-
sarily implies fifteen before it, there must have
been, either then or previously, another. Where
was it ? I have heard that there was once a small
body which for some cause separated from the First
Church and assumed the name of the Zoar Baptist
Church, but of its history I can find no trace. It
must, I think, have been a short one. However
this may have been, it seems necessary to assume
the existence of a Baptist congregation somewhere
not far distant, in order to account for the building
of so large a church as that in Mulberry Street. It
was a large structure, with a gallery all around. It
would seat fifteen hundred people, and was the
largest Baptist house of worship ever erected in this
city, if that in Sixteenth Street is not an exception,
until the Calvary Church built their new house in
Fifty-seventh Street. Surely so large a house would
not have been built for Baptists if there had not
been a congregation of Baptists, or persons holding
Baptist views, ready to enter it ; yet it is well known
that Mulberry Street Church was never other than
a Baptist church.
ARCHIBALD MACLAY, D. D.
THE MULBERRY STREET CHURCH AND REV. ARCHI-
THE following interesting facts relating to Rev.
Archibald Maclay, first pastor of the Mulberry
Street Church, are gathered from the " Maclay Me-
morial/' a copy of which was presented to the writer
by the late Robert Maclay of this city :
" Rev. Archibald Maclay, D. D., was born May 14,
1776, at Green End, on the outskirts of the village
of Killearn, Stirlingshire, Scotland, in a rural cot-
tage which is said to have been in the family for
many generations. His paternal grandfather was a
man of high repute and an elder in a Presbyterian
church. He lived to a great age. When on his
deathbed he looked at his children with a complacent
smile, and said : ' One generation goeth and another
cometh. Blessed be the name of the Lord.' "
Dr. Maclay's father was born in 1749, and died
at the age of thirty-six years, when his son (who
bore his name), was nine years old. His mother
instructed her son carefully in the religion of the
Bible. He read the Book of books over and over,
and practised daily prayer. Subsequent experience
taught him, however, that he had only the religion
of a young Pharisee, until he heard a sermon by-
Rev. Mr. Wallis, from Eph. 1 : 7. From this he
dates his conversion.
"In the first transports of my love and gratitude," he
says, * ' I could have embraced the preacher through
whom was made known to me the wisdom and power of
God unto salvation. But I was a diffident and friendless
boy, and did not dare speak to him. I had never seen
him before, and have never seen him since, but in my
old age I met his son, Rev. Dr. Wallis, professor of the-
ology in Kings College, Toronto, and acknowledged to
him the debt I owed to his father."
When the boy had experienced this change, his
mother made him leader in their family worship.
He joined the Church of the Seceders to which his
mother belonged, and began to take part in their
public meetings for prayer and conference.
Up to this time his opportunities for education
had been very limited. Subsequently (the family
having removed to Glasgow) he was two years under
the tuition of Rev. Greville Ewing, of that city.
He finished his education at the University of Edin-
burgh, where the celebrated Dugald Stewart was one
of the professors, and was chiefly indebted for the
means to do so to his lifelong friend, Mr. Robert
Haldane, after whom he named his oldest son. He
was ordained to the ministry in 1802, and became
pastor of a church in Kircaldy, opposite Edinburgh,
and the same year was married to Miss Mary
Brown, of Glasgow. His ministry at Kircaldy was
THE MULBERRY STREET CHURCH 13
attended with great success. In 1804 his mother
died, and he then determined to carry out a plan
formed long before, to emigrate. The missionary
spirit in him was always dominant, and seeing no
immediate prospect of an open door for missionaries
in the East, he turned his attention to the West, and
(with the advice of Mr. Haldane) chose America for
the field of his future labors.
Thereupon he resigned his pastorate, and on Oc-
tober 28, 1805, he sailed from Greenock with his
wife and two children. After a tempestuous and
perilous voyage, the family arrived safely on our
shores, and Dr. Maclay preached his first sermon in
America on shipboard in New York harbor. His
standing as an accredited minister of the gospel, his
confidential relations with well-known representative
characters in Great Britain, and his letters of com-
mendation from such men as Dick, Haldane, Fuller,
and Hall, gave him a favorable introduction to men
of standing and influence in America. He was
kindly received in the community and churches of
New York, and was soon installed in a pastorate of
In this relation he continued to preach without
any considerable intermission for thirty-two years,
being from 1809 to 1837 pastor of the same church
in Mulberry Street.
But the question still remains unanswered. Where
did Doctor Maclay preach before that time? On
this the "MemoriaP^ is silent. It is certain that he
commenced his ministry in New York as a Presby-
terian. It is also certain that the Mulberry Street
Church was never other than a Baptist church ;
moreover, Doctor Maclay's ministry there did not
commence until the year 1809. Where was he the
four previous years ? It has been said that shortly
after his arrival in New York, he was led to change
his views regarding believers' baptism, and that he
was immersed, but still continued preaching to the
same people, until the larger part of, if not the entire
congregation, embraced the same views. It has been
fully ascertained that he received baptism at the
hands of Kev. John Williams, in the Oliver Street
meeting-house, but it does not appear that he ever
became a member of that church. This information
was obtained from James M. Whitehead, now of
Washington, D. C, a former clerk of the Oliver
Street Church. The probability of the above is
moreover strengthened by the fact already recorded,
the erection of the large church edifice in Mulberry
Street, for it seems clear, as has been said, that so
large a house would not have been built for Baptists
had there not been somewhere not far distant a con-
gregation of Baptists ready to occupy it. If so,
where was it located? Probably in Rose Street,
where "a moderately capacious meeting-house" is
said to have been standing at that time.
Doctor Maclay was esteemed a very earnest and
able preacher, and a ripe scholar for that day.
Multitudes flocked to hear him, and the large meet-
THE MULBERRY STREET CHURCH 15
ing-house in Mulberry Street was crowded. After
a while, liowever, such is the unsettled character of
all earthly things, his popularity began to wane and
his congregation to dwindle. For this two reasons
will hereafter be assigned, neither of which, how-
ever, detracted from, or in the smallest degree
diminished, the high personal esteem and affection
in which he was always held, not only by Baptists,
but by Christian people of all denominations.
Doctor Maclay retired from pastoral work in
1837, at the age of sixty-one, to become the travel-
ing agent and efficient advocate of the American and
Foreign Bible Society, then recently formed, with
Spencer H. Cone for president. The church, while
accepting his resignation, passed the following reso-
Although it is painful to part with our pastor, espe-
cially when we consider that he was the means, under
God, of planting this church, and has so long been its
faithful, affectionate, and devoted pastor, yet, believing
that Providence has opened a wider field of usefulness for
him in the Bible cause, and eminently qualified him to
labor in it, we desire to acquiesce in this dispensation of
Providence, and at the same time express our undimin-
ished and aff'ectionate attachment to him.
Thenceforth Doctor Maclay devoted the remain-
der of his public life to the Bible cause, under the
auspices of the American and Foreign Bible Society
and the American Bible Union, having this object,
as he expressed it, " To give the Bible translated to
all nations, without any human addition, diminution,
or concealment.'^ Engaged in this work he traveled
extensively in the United States, Great Britain, and
in some of the British Provinces, and was every-
where well received. At home and abroad his name
was as potent as his face was familiar. His sermon
on the Bible cause was one of great power, and was
published by the hundred thousand. It was trans-
lated into the Welsh language, and to this day its
influence is felt among the English and Welsh-
speaking people throughout the United Kingdom,
as well as in the United States.
Doctor Maclay encountered many perils while
traveling in the Bible cause, from some of which he
narrowly escaped with his life. A firm believer in
the doctrine of special Providence in the affairs of
men, he always attributed his escape to the merci-
ful interposition of Almighty God.
Surely these escapes and exemptions were neither
few in number nor ordinary in kind. One, and per-
haps the most remarkable, occurred in 1845, and
may be remembered by some of my older readers.
In this catastrophe Doctor Maclay lost everything
but his life. He had taken passage on the steamer
Bellezane, of Zanesville, Ohio, bound for New Or-
leans, which was " snagged '^ on the Mississippi,
fifteen miles above the mouth of the Arkansas. Out
of one hundred and twenty-five passengers sixty-
five perished. Of the experience of the night's dis-
aster, Doctor Maclay says :
THE MULBERRY STREET CHURCH 17
During the four hours I was on the wreck I spent
most of the time in mental prayer. I felt resigned and
composed, and I would with gratitude raise another
Ebenezer, and say: "Hitherto the Lord hath helped
me. What shall I render to God for all his mercies
toward me ? "
Doctor Maclay was neither disabled nor disheart-
ened by this terrible ordeal. After a brief interval
he resumed his work, and added to his already pro-
tracted service nearly ten years more of arduous
labor. The fruits of his labors did not fall off with
the lapse of years. The experience and wisdom
of age more than made up for the inevitable failure
of physical energy, so that the acme of his useful-
ness was at the close of his earthly career.
To return to the history of Doctor Maclay's pas-
torate in Mulberry Street. The first and perhaps
the more potent of the causes hinted at as tending to
deplete Doctor Maclay's congegation, was the com-
ing to the church in Oliver Street, little more than
a stone's throw distant, of a young, eloquent, and
already famous preacher, in the person of Spencer
Houghton Cone, whom that church had called to
assist their venerated pastor. Rev. John Williams.
Multitudes flocked to hear him from all parts of the
city, and perhaps the Mulberry Street Church suf-
fered most because it was the nearest.
Another reason appeared thirteen years later,
when many of the members, among them some of
the wealthiest, were dismissed by letter for the pur-
pose of forming a new Baptist interest on the west
side of the city, to be known as the West Baptist
Church — a laudable object certainly, but not des-
tined to be successful. A church was organized and
publicly recognized, receiving a hearty welcome into
the family of Baptist churches. The new church
held its first assemblies in Gothic Hall, then on
Broadway (east side) one door below Pearl Street,
and shortly afterward called Rev. John Dowling,
then pastor of a church at Newport, R. I., to become
their pastor. He accepted the call and preached
with great acceptance. But the contemplated church
edifice could not be built. The commercial panic
which struck the entire country in 1837 and spread
its disastrous results over the two following years,
and which proved especially disastrous to this city
because of the "great fire'' of 1835, swept away the
fortunes of nearly, if not quite all, the brethren who
had embarked in the new enterprise. The now en-
feebled West Baptist Church, though heroically led
by its pastor, was forced to abandon its name and
its independent existence. It was finally merged in
the new organization, thenceforth to be known as
the Tabernacle Baptist Church, of which church
more will be said.
In order to facilitate this merging of interests,
Doctor Dowling resigned, and shortly after became
pastor of the Second Church, in Providence, R. I.,
then worshiping in Pine Street, of that city.
SPENCER H. CONE, D. D.
THE OLIVER STREET CHURCH AND SPENCER H.
SPENCER HOUGHTON CONE entered upon
his work in May, 1823, having just passed his
thirty-eighth birthday. His sermons were entirely
unlike the usual preaching of that day, both in their
structure and the manner of their delivery, and
they at once charmed and captivated his hearers.
Although but little above medium height, his erect
and graceful figure gave him a distinguished person-
ality which was at once impressive and pleasing.
Added to this, he had an easy, even flow of lan-
guage, never hesitating for a word, and rarely, if
ever, recalling one. Perhaps the most wonderful of
his gifts was his inimitable voice. It was not loud
and startling, not metallic, except as it was golden ;
not sometimes like a clap of thunder, and then an
almost inaudible whisper — but it is easier to say
what it was noty than to say what it was. Yet none
ever listened to its mellifluous cadences without
feeling a charm indescribable, but never to be for-
gotten. Mr. Cone was not a stranger in our city
when he came to take up his work in Oliver Street.
His first visit (as we learn from the "Life of Spencer
H. Cone/' P^g^ 160) was in the fall or early winter
of 1818, and the errand on which he came throws a
forelight on his future career as the successful pro-
moter of missionary work at home and abroad. He
had been pastor successively of the little churches
in Washington, D. C, and Alexandria, Va., and in
both places his preaching attracted large congrega-
tions, and resulted, through divine blessing, in the
conversion of many persons.
In 1818 he was pastor of the church in Alexan-
dria. Gracious showers of divine blessing had de-
scended on his ministry, and there were many conver-
sions and great spiritual prosperity, but the people
were poor, and then, as now. New York, always sup-
posed to be rich and known to be generous, was the
objective point to which the needy turned for help,
and then as now, a church in such condition sends
its pastor to plead its cause. Mr. Cone accepted
the commission and the responsibility. A good
friend, who knew how to put him on the right path,
gave him a letter to Deacon Thomas Garniss (living
then on the corner of James and Chatham Streets)
and the next Lord's Day morning the young preacher
from Virginia was heard (for the first time in New
York) from the pulpit of the Oliver Street Baptist
Church, pleading the cause of the little church under
his pastoral care, which he rightly contended was a
Mr. Cone's second visit to New York occurred a
little later, when he preached in several of our
THE OLIVER STREET CHURCH 21
churches with such eclat that steps were immediately
taken to induce him to leave his isolated position in
Alexandria, and come to New York. This solicita-
tion, first extended to him in 1818, was now pressed
upon him by many of the acknowledged leaders and
wealthiest members of our churches, with the assur-
ance that a new interest should be started and a new
church edifice be at once erected on the most eligible
spot in the city, provided he would accept a call/
But Mr. Cone chose to remain in the locality where
the Master first called him to labor, until he should
have a fuller revelation or conviction of the divine
will. This did not come to him, as we have seen,
until 1823, nearly five years later. In the month
of May of that year, he began his work in Oliver
Street as assistant to Rev. John AVilliams, and on
the death of that venerable man, on May 30, 1825,
Spencer H. Cone, who had already been elected
junior pastor, became the pastor of the Oliver Street
From this time forward his popularity as a
preacher, his personal magnetism, and his marked
ability as a presiding and executive officer, made
Spencer H. Cone a central figure and an acknowl-
edged leader in our Baptist Israel. The Oliver Street
Church became a rallying center for the friends, espe-
cially, of foreign missions. The " monthly concert of
prayer for foreign missions,' ' held in the large lec-
1 Life of S. H. Cone.
ture room of the church the first Monday of each
month, attracted large numbers from all the other
churches to hear reports from laborers on foreign
fields, with all of which the Oliver Street pastor had
put himself in communication, and with many of
whom he had been more or less closely in touch for
years before his coming to New York. His heart
warmed with encouragement as he found himself
surrounded with coadjutors, willing and able com-
peers in the work of extending the knowledge of the
Saviour throughout the whole world. The church
in Oliver Street had heard and heeded the great
commission : " Go ye into all the world and preach
the gospel to every creature,'' and numbered among
its members many of the most liberal contributors
to carry out that command. It is a pleasing thought
that God has honored their devotion, insomuch that
their children and grandchildren are among the
most active and efficient co-operators in the same
good work to this day !
'^Faith'^ proded by ^^ works J^ Perhaps there have
been few periods in the history of our churches when
God's people labored more faithfully, and when the
divine blessing resting on their labors was more con-
spicuous. At no period, certainly, were the " weekly
prayer meetings " better attended, the " neighborhood
prayer meetings" more numerous, or supplication
more earnest ! This too was the period of " early
prayer meetings," often held as early as five o'clock
A. M., in the depth of winter too. How well I re-
THE OLIVER STREET CHURCH 23
member the Sunday morning prayer meeting, held
in the gallery back of the pulpit in the old Oliver
Street Church, and led by one of the deacons, to
seek preparation for, and ask a blessing on, the Sun-
day-school instruction, the preaching of the word,
and all the exercises of the sacred day.
IF asked why, after giving a list of our churches
in the order of their organization, I omit the
First Church, organized in 1763, and pass on to the
Oliver Street Church, organized twenty-eight years
later, I reply. With a single exception, I am in-
debted for all the knowledge I possess concerning
the former church, prior to 1841, to my friend
Roger H. Lyon, Esq., and an address read by him
at the laying of the corner-stone of their present
church on Boulevard, corner of Seventy-ninth Street.
The exception : In the latter part of 1835 or the
beginning of 1836, 1 attended public worship in the
meeting-house of the First Baptist Church, in Gold
Street between Fulton and John Streets. The
ground on Avhich the house stood was afterward a
coal yard, and is now occupied by Robert Hoe &
Co., for some part of their business as printing press
manufacturers. There I heard a sermon from Rev.
William Parkinson. He was a man of noble pres-
ence and dignified bearing, much above medium
height and far past the meridian of life. I did not
then consider him an orator, although I believe he
was so considered, but he impressed me as a re-
A DIGRESSION 25
markably clear, cogent, and forceful preacher. In
these particulars perhaps there are few superiors to
him even in the present day. I have been informed
that Doctor Parkinson was accustomed to preach on
Sunday afternoons during suitable weather from the
steps of the City Hall, where he sometimes spoke to
one thousand persons, and that when he resigned his
pastorate in the First Church it was his purpose
never to accept another, but to continue these Sun-
day afternoon addresses so long as he should have
strength to do so. Afterward, however, he was
persuaded otherwise, as we shall see when we come
to note the organization of the Bethesda Baptist
The writer trusts too, that he will be pardoned
for continuing this digression long enough to record
what he knows of the history of two noble churches,
composed of people of color, which were in existence
The first of these, the Abyssinian Church, was
located in Anthony Street, corner of Church Street.
The church was organized in 1808. Its pastor.
Rev. William Spelman, was of Southern birth, a
barber by profession, and like Onesimus, once a
slave. He possessed great strength of character
and ruled like an autocrat; but his people respected
and loved him, and his church-membership was at
one time the largest of any Baptist church in the
city. The up-town movement of business forced
them to abandon their location, and they found
scant shelter in the small frame building in Waverly
Place, where they still remain. The old pastor saw
much trouble in his later days through some who
sought to create divisions in the church, but he lived
to a good old age and retained to the last the sym-
pathy and respect of all his white brethren, both
ministers and laymen. But the strife in the church
continued, and for twelve years they were deprived
of fellowship in the Southern New York Baptist
Association, because of their persistent litigation in
In 1897 they reported to the Association that they
had withdrawn all their suits, and on the strength
of this report they were restored to fellowship and
to their original position in the list of churches.
The church is now under the pastoral care of Rev.
R. D. Wynn, and is believed to be prospering, spir-
itually at least, its present (1898) number being
eight hundred and eighty.
The second, the Zion Baptist Church, was organ-
ized in 1832. In 1835, and many years later, it
was under the care of Rev. John T. Raymond. It
worshiped in Pearl Street a little west of Chatham.
After Mr. Raymond's death it had a very check-
ered history, but still maintains its visibility at 164
West Twenty-sixth Street, where it enjoys the excel-
lent ministry of Rev. J. W. Scott, its present (1898)
membership being three hundred and ninety-six.
OLIVER STREET CHURCH (CONTINUED), 1841-1890
AFTER the resignation of Spencer H. Cone, the
Oliver Street Church called for their next
pastor Rev. Elisha Tucker, d. d., of Rochester,
N. Y. Doctor Tucker entered upon his pastoral
work on the first Sunday in October, 1841, and
served the church with great acceptance until May,
1848, when he resigned to accept the pastorate of
the First Baptist Church in Chicago, 111. His res-
ignation was accepted with deep regret, and the
church voted him a half-year's salary as a token of
their love and appreciation of his faithful services.
After Doctor Tucker resigned the church was
without a pastor for a year and a half, but was
faithfully supplied by Rev. Lemuel Covel. During
Doctor Tucker's pastorate the church was greatly
afflicted in the loss of their meeting-house by fire,
the house in which they and their fathers had wor-
shiped since 1819. No time was lost in preparing
to erect a new edifice ; but many tender memories
were stirred, and many hearts made sad. Yet Doc-
tor Tucker's pastorate is still remembered as one of
the most successful on their records.
The following description of a monthly Commun-
ion, copied by permission from a paper read by Mr.
George M. Yanderlip, at the thirtieth anniversary
of the Hudson River Baptist Association, South, is
a pen-picture worthy of an artist :
On an elevated platform in front of the pulpit, sat in
the center the imposing and dignified form of the pas-
tor, Doctor Tucker, a man of fifty years, whose long hair
was turning silvery gray, supported by six venerable-
looking deacons, all older than himself. On one side sat
the gentle and well-beloved Thomas Purser, then James
Wilson, then Robert Edwards ; on the other side Jacob
Smith (the oldest deacon), then Roger Pegg, and then
the youngest deacon, Isaac Newton. It was a goodly
sight. They are all in heaven now. "They rest from
their labours and their works do follow them. ' '
Doctor Tucker died in 1853, while on a visit to
his son in Cumberland, Md. At the solicitation of
many members of the Oliver Street Church who had
been converted under his ministry, the family per-
mitted his remains to be brought to this city to be
buried from the Oliver Street meeting-house, and to
rest in Greenwood Cemetery, where a lot was pur-
chased and a monument erected by the same friends,
and then made over to the survivors of the family.
In 1849 the church extended a call to Rev. E. L.
Magoon, of Cincinnati, O., to become their pastor,
and he consented to supply their pulpit for six
months, at the end of which time he accepted a per-
manent call. The widespread reputation of the
gifted pastor attracted large numbers to their house
OLIVER STREET CHURCH 29
of worship ; but the tide of the church-going popu-
lation had set up-town and stores and tenement
houses had begun to fill the streets where had been
the dwellings of a large proportion of the church-
members. The movement was a sudden one, and
the churches which followed the population pros-
pered. For several years there was much encour-
agement in large congregations, and numerous con-
versions, but the steady drain by removals continu-
ing, left little to hope for. The prospect of removal
being still remote, on June 30, 1857, Doctor Magoon
tendered his resignation, which was finally accepted,
the church voting him a present of one thousand
dollars. During the pastorate of Doctor Magoon,
Rev. C. C. Norton was ordained to the ministry,
and accepted the pastoral care of the Sixth Street
Baptist Church, and Rev. Howard Osgood, formerly
an Episcopalian, was immersed. Rev. Doctor Nor-
ton preached the gospel in this city forty years, and
recently went to his rest. Dr. Howard Osgood now
fills a professor's chair in the theological seminary
at Rochester, N. Y.
In April, 1858, and again in February, 1859, the
Oliver Street Church extended a call to Rev. Henry
G. Weston, of Peoria, 111., to become their pastor.
These first calls were declined, but being providen-
tially in the city in March of the same year, he was
invited to preach, and finally agreed to accept the
call. His acceptance gave great joy to the church,
and his preaching gave universal satisfaction, but
each passing month made the necessity for speedy
removal more apparent and more pressing, and a
committee of judicious brethren was appointed to
examine into the matter and report some plan of
action. After the report had been received, au-
thority was given to sell the property and purchase
lots somewhere within the territory bounded by
Third and Fourth Avenues, and Thirty-Second
and Thirty-fourth Streets. Before anything defi-
nite had been accomplished the church received a
communication from the Madison Avenue Baptist
Church, whose pastor. Dr. William Hague, had re-
signed, suggesting a union of these two churches.
The proposition was so far favorably entertained as
to lead to the appointment of a committee consisting
of deacons Wm. Phelps, Samuel Raynor, Richard
Stout, and brethren Wm. D. Murphy, Alfred Decker,
John M. Ferrier, and Geo. M. Vanderlip, to meet
a committee of the same number of the Madison
Avenue Baptist Church, consisting of brethren Geo.
W. Abbe, Hiram Huston, Joseph F. Lake, Wm. H.
Chapman, Thos. Porter, Wm. J. Todd, and Jeremiah
Milbank, who were instructed to consider the whole
matter, and if they thought it advisable, to report
some plan for uniting the two churches in one.
These brethren, after serious consideration, agreed
upon a plan of union which they recommended to
their respective churches, and which said churches
adopted, recommending that application be made by
each church to the Court for permission to sell their
OLIVER STREET CHURCH 31
respective properties and to become one church, un-
der the corporate name of the Madison Avenue
Baptist Church, with the following stipulations :
First. That the Madison Avenue Church shall
convey all its property, real and personal, to the
Oliver Street Baptist Church, and that its corporate
powers shall then cease ; that said church shall then
make a list of its members, duly certified by its
clerk, for the purpose of its union with the Oliver
Street Church ; that on such list being presented,
they shall be constituted members of that church,
and thereupon the regular services shall be held in
the house of worship of the Madison Avenue
Second. The trustees of the Oliver Street Church
are to resign, and an election for new trustees or-
dered by the congregation united, shall be had ; the
resignation of the present trustees to take effect
when others shall have been elected.
Third. The Oliver Street Baptist Church then
to take the necessary steps to cause its corporate
name to be changed to that of the Madison Avenue
Fourth. The real and personal property now
owned by the Madison Avenue Baptist Church and
that owned by the Oliver Street Baptist Church,
upon such transfer and union as aforesaid, is to
become liable for the indebtedness of both said
On September 29, 1862, at meetings duly called,
the report of the joint committee was adopted by
both churches respectively, and the trustees of both
churches were authorized and directed to take the
necessary steps to perfect the union of said two
On October 6, 1862, at a meeting duly called,
the trustees of the Oliver Street Baptist Church
adopted and approved a resolution pledging them-
selves to carry out and perfect said plan and agree-
ment for effecting and perfecting a union of said two
churches. Other stipulations were added and mu-
tually agreed to, and thereupon formal application
was made to, and obtained from, the Supreme Court
to issue an order to complete the same. Said appli-
cation was signed by S. Y. Bagley, attorney, in be-
half of the petition of the Oliver Street Church, and
by William H. Chapman, chairman, and George W.
Abbe, secretary of the Board of trustees of the Mad-
ison Avenue Baptist Church.
The order of the Court was issued, and so far the
union of the two churches seemed to be perfect and
to promise the happiest results. But alas ! it turned
out far otherwise. Slight misunderstandings led
unhappily to acrid disputes ; criminations and re-
criminations followed, resulting in an "appeal to
Caesar." A fierce litigation ensued which lasted
twenty years, causing sorrow to every Christian
heart, while the ungodly pointed the finger of scorn,
and said — not, "See how these Christians love one
another," but, " How they bite and devour one an-
OLIVER STREET CHURCH 33
other.^' Yet these litigants were earnest Christian
men, and both sides believed they were in the right.
Among those on both sides the writer cherishes the
memory of many who were his very dear friends.
Let us remember their many virtues, and cast the
mantle of charity over their human failures. The
litigation was at length brought to an end by the
final decision of the Supreme Court, which ruled
that, owing to a defect in the deed of conveyance,
the property in dispute had never passed from its
first owners to the new organization (the united
church), and consequently the Oliver Street Church
had paid its money without receiving the stipulated
consideration. On the other hand, they (the Oliver
Street people) had had the use of property to which
they had no legal title, and must therefore pay rent.
The Court subsequently awarded what it consid-
ered an equitable sum to the Oliver Street party,
and with the amount so awarded, and very large
contributions among themselves, they purchased the
ground and built the edifice which they now occupy
on Madison Avenue, corner of Sixty-fourth Street.
In 1879 they called Rev. J. F. Elder, from
Orange, N. J., to become their pastor; and in 1882
they assumed the name of the Baptist Church of the
Epiphany. Doctor Elder resigned the pastorate
May 12, 1890, but supplied the pulpit several
months before leaving to accept the call of Calvary
Baptist Church, Albany, N. Y., where he is an hon-
ored and much-loved pastor.
Doctor Elder was succeeded in the Church of
the Epiphany by John T. Beckley, D. D., and on
his retirement from the pastoral office, the church
called its present highly efficient pastor, Rev. How-
ard L. Jones. While their edifice was being built
they worshiped in the church edifice in West Fifty-
third Street, now the Mount Olivet Baptist Church.
Its present membership (1898) is two hundred and
sixty-five. May the Lord bless this grand old
church, and make it a blessing from generation to
generations yet unborn !
NORTH BERIAH AND SOUTH BAPTIST CHURCHES
THE North Beriah Baptist Church (now the
North Baptist Church) was organized in 1813.
Its pastor, in 1835, was Rev. Duncan Dunbar,
a typical Scottish Highlander. I do not know
whether he spoke the Gaelic, but his speech was
very different from that of the lowlands of Scot-
land, and it never changed, although he lived most
of his days in America, and had been a pastor in
Boston and other Eastern cities. He was a large
hearted man whom everybody loved and who loved
everybody. His preaching was full of unction and
largely experimental, a word much in vogue in those
days. He fed his people on the word of God, and
many strong men and gifted women were the fruit
of his ministry. The church might well have been
called a nursery for Christian workers, as many able
teachers and preachers were raised up there. Mr.
Dunbar was pastor of this church at two different
times, between which he was pastor in South Boston
and Philadelphia. The church Sunday-school was
superintended by Mr. S. W. Seton, an Episcopalian.
In 1859 the church assumed the name Macdougal
Street Baptist Church, which it retained until quite
recently, when it was merged into the North Baptist
Church, now in West Eleventh Street. The church
had many pastors after Mr. Dunbar, but their old
meeting-house is still standing in Macdougal Street,
opposite Van Dam Street, and presents the same
general appearance that it did more than sixty years
ago. The present number of members (1898) is
three hundred and nine.
South Baptist Church (now West Thirty-third
Street). This church was organized in 1822. It
was located on Nassau Street. Its pastor was Kev.
Chas. G. Somers. The building in which the church
worshiped is still standing on the east side of the
street, between Fulton and John Streets, but has
long since been turned into offices for business. Mr,
Somers was born in England, but was educated in
some part of Germany. He found much difficulty
with the letter r, being obliged to substitute w in its
place. This, however, was by no means unpleasant
to his audiences. He had a deep-toned and very
musical voice, which gave a peculiar charm to his
speech. He was withal an earnest and impressive
preacher, and a pleasing platform speaker.
An old friend of the writer, who had been a mem-
ber of the South Church, informed him that Mr.
Somers, when a youth, was in the employ of John
Jacob Astor, and that on one occasion Mr. Astor de-
manded of him some secular services on the Lord's
Day, which young Somers refused to render, giving
as his reason, that on that day he served exclusively
NORTH BERIAH AND SOUTH CHURCHES 37
another Master. The same friend also informed me
that the meeting-house in Nassau Street was built
and owned by Mr. Somer^s father-in-law, Deacon
Skelding, who desired to give him the title deed.
Mr. Somers declined to accept the gift ; thereupon
Deacon Skelding made the property over to the
church, with the proviso that Mr. Somers should re-
ceive therefrom a salary of one thousand two hun-
dred and fifty dollars yearly, so long as he remained
Somewhere about 1852 the church moved to a
meeting-house located on the corner of Hammond
(now West Eleventh) Street and Factory Street, and
subsequently to the building corner of Eighth Ave-
nue and Twenty-third Street. While there Doctor
Somers retired from the pastorate. In 1856 the
church purchased and moved into the meeting-house
in Twenty-fifth Street, between Seventh and Eighth
Avenues, and called Rev. A. H. Burlingham to be-
come their pastor. Doctor Burlingham served the
church successfully until 1865. Rev. John Dowling,
D. D., and others, supplied the pulpit for a few
months, after which Rev. Halsey W. Knapp was
pastor for one year, and was succeeded by his bro-
ther. Rev. S. J. Knapp.
In 1872 Rev. M. G. Hodge became pastor. He
was followed two years later by Rev. A. C. Osborne.
Doctor Osborne resigned in 1874, and a few years
later the church received into its fellowship the
members of the Plymouth Baptist Church, which
had been organized ten years before in West Fifty-
fourth Street, and the pastor of that church, Rev.
A. Stewart Walsh, became pastor of the South
Church, which shortly after ceased to exist as an
independent church, and was merged into the Pil-
grim Baptist Church, located in West Thirty-third
Street. This latter church grew out of the efforts
of two brethren, James M. Peck and H. H. Salmon.
These brethren hired a hall in Thirty-fourth Street,
where they gathered a large Sunday-school, which
served as a nucleus to the Pilgrim Church. Their
first pastor was Rev. G. A. Peltz, who was followed
by Rev. Halsey W. Knapp, and later by Rev. J.
Spencer Kennard. Among those who helped to
build up this church were brethren Wm. B. Waite,
Calvin Stevens, R. G. Cornell, and many others,
who have passed on to the better world. The
church is now under the successful pastorate of
Rev. Edwin S. HoUoway, with a present member-
ship (1898) of three hundred and fifty-two.
STANTON STREET BAPTIST CHURCH
THE Union (now Stanton Street) Baptist Church,
was organized in 1823, assumed the name of
the Stanton Street Baptist Church in 1834, and en-
tered fully upon the prosperous career that has
marked its history.
The following account of its origin, taken from
^^A History of the Stanton Street Church, by
Charles B. Stout and his associate in the clerkship
of the Church '' (Mr. Thomas J. Grout), will be
found full of interest :
In the latter part of the year 1823, a number of mem-
bers in good standing in the Mulberry Street Church,
New York, expressed a wish to be dismissed, for the pur-
pose of constituting a new church in another part of the
city. After considering their request, the following letter
was granted them :
To ALL WHOM IT MAY CONCERN : This is to Certify that
the brethren and sisters whose names are hereunto
affixed, are hereby regularly dismissed from the Baptist
Church in Mulberry Street, New York, under the pas-
toral care of Rev. Archibald Maclay, for the purpose of
uniting together in the formation of a new and regular
Baptist Church in the si.me city, and may the great
Head of the Church crown their efforts with success and
his rich and effective blessing, that they may be built on
the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ
being the chief corner-stone.
Done by ordei- of the church.
William Winterton, Church clerk.
New York, September 23, 1823.
John Hazlett, Michael Noe,
Zilpah Hazlett, Elizabeth Noe,
Jane Hazlett, Wm. B. Swift,
Stephen Hyde, Charlotte Blakeley,
Caroline Hyde, Catharine Clark,
Frederick Pattillo, Mary Cheeseman,
Catherine Pattillo, Hannah Ashford.
Immediately on receiving this letter, these breth-
ren and sisters procured a place to meet at 63
Chrystie Street, then far up-town, and they had
public worship the next Sunday, Brother John W.
Gibbs being the preacher. It was resolved to en-
gage Brother Gibbs at a salary of two hundred dol-
lars per annum, but they subsequently voted fifty
dollars additional. Shortly afterward a council
assembled at the house of Brother Noe, to which
the new church submitted their articles of faith and
This council was composed of Revs. Archibald
Maclay, Charles G. Somers, Johnson Chase, John
Williams, and Smith. After due deliberation,
the council resolved unanimously that these brethren
and sisters should be recognized as a regular Baptist
church, and the names of William S. Duzenbury
and Ann Elgreen were added to the original number.
The council then adjourned to the meeting-house,
STANTON STREET BAPTIST CHURCH 41
where a sermon was preached by Rev. Charles G.
Somers, and the hand of fellowship was given by
Rev. Archibald Maclay. The writer has a distinct
recollection of all the persons mentioned above, ex-
cept Rev. John Williams and Rev. Smith.
On Lord's Day, November 2, Ann Hulse was
proposed for baptism, and was the first believer
baptized into the fellowship of the new church. It
was soon ascertained that Brother Gibbs' salary was
not sufficient for his support ; but the little church
was unable to increase it, and therefore released him
from his engagement, and voted to depend on such
gratuitous supplies as they might be able to obtain.
On April 16, 1824, the church voted a license to
Deacon Noe to preach the gospel.
About this time the church moved to the school-
room over the watch-house in Eldridge Street, and
the same year invited Rev. Samuel Eastman to be-
come their pastor. The call was accepted, and Mr.
Eastman entered on his pastoral labors in the
summer of 1824. The same year the church voted
unanimously, as usual, to connect itself with the
Hudson River Baptist Association, in which fellow-
ship it has always continued. The membership at
this time only numbered twenty-four.
After six years of faithful labor, during which
he baptized one hundred and twenty-six persons,
failing health compelled Mr. Eastman to resign the
pastorate, and in the year 1831, the church, con-
sisting then of one hundred and ten members, ex-
tended a call to Rev. George Benedict, of Danbury,
Conn., to become its pastor. They could only
offer five hundred dollars salary, but the call was
accepted, and Mr. Benedict entered at once on
what proved to be his life-work in New York
City. He was a man full of faith, and richly en-
dued with the Holy Spirit, and his faithful labors^
both in and out of the pulpit, were rewarded with
an abundant harvest. The church was blessed under
his ministry with a continual outpouring of the Holy
Spirit and large accessions to its membership.
In 1841 the church, whose house of worship was
no longer large enough to accommodate the large
congregations that assembled, sent out its first
colony to establish a new church in Norfolk Street.
Mr. Benedict elected to go with it, and there this
devoted servant of God finished his earthly toil for
the church on June 19, 1848, and on October 28
of the same year he went to his eternal rest.
It was during Mr. Benedict's pastorate, and
largely the result of his strenuous efforts, that the
house of worship in Stanton Street was erected.
The church had for two years occupied the small
wooden building which stood first on the southeast
corner of Houston (then North) and Forsyth Street,
but was moved afterward to the opposite side of
Houston Street. Subsequently the church accepted
the invitation of the Bethel Baptist Church, then
worshiping on the corner of Chrystie and Delancy
Streets, to meet with them until it could erect a
REV. GEORGE BENEDICT.
STANTON STREET BAPTIST CHURCH 43
meeting-house. The first steps toward the building
enterprise were taken at a church meeting held in
December, 1822, and in June, 1823, the lots in Stan-
ton Street were secured. The corner-stone was laid
in August of the same year ; and on Sunday, March
23, 1824, the church solemnly dedicated to God the
meeting-house that was to be its sacred religious
home for fifty years.
After Mr. Benedict's resignation in 1841, the
church was without a pastor for several months. It
then extended a call to Rev. David Bellamy, of
Ithaca, N. Y., and he entered upon his pastoral work
in September, 1841. He remained five years, and
baptized three hundred and nine converts, when he
tendered his resignation, and shortly afterward ac-
cepted the call of a small body of brethren who had
withdrawn from the parent church and organized a
congregation to be called the " Hope Chapel Con-
gregation.'^ On Friday evening, November 27,
1846, a committee was instructed to secure the Col-
iseum, number 450 Broadway, for a place of wor-
ship, and to invite Rev. David Bellamy to preach
on the following Sabbath. On Sabbath evening,
January 3, 1847, an invitation was given to all who
were interested in Hope Chapel to remain, to con-
sider the expediency of organizing an independent
Baptist church. A large number remained, and it
was unanimously resolved to take immediate meas-
ures to form such an organization. Among the
leaders at the time were W. D. Salisbury, B. S.
Squire, M. G. Lane, William E. Sibell, D. W. Man-
waring, Henry Estwick, AVilliam Conklin, Abraham
Fanning, and John Fanning. On Sunday evening,
February 28, 1847, the organization was completed
by the adoption of the following resolution :
Resolved, That herein and hereby, by the adoption of
this resolution, we constitute ourselves into an inde-
pendent Baptist church, by the name of the Hope Chapel
Baptist Church, in the city of New York.
One hundred and seven names were attached to
this resolution, of whom very fcAV, if any, are living.
After about two years Mr. Bellamy's health failed, and
he retired from pastoral work He was succeeded by
John Dowling, d. d., who remained pastor until
1852. Rev. A. D. Gillette was chosen as the suc-
cessor of Doctor Dowling, and in 1852 the name of
the church was changed to that of the Broadway Bap-
tist Church. Doctor Gillette went with the church to
West Twenty-third Street, between Fifth and Sixth
Avenues, when the name was again changed to Cal-
vary Baptist Church, which name it still retains.
On the resignation of Doctor Gillette he was suc-
ceeded by Rev. R. J. W. Buckland, and upon Doc-
tor Buckland's resignation to accept a professorship
in Rochester Theological Seminary, Calvary Church
called, upon his graduation. Rev. Robert Stuart
MacArthur, the noble man and able preacher who
is still their leader and spiritual guide, and who, in
1895, celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of his
STANTON STREET BAPTIST CHURCH 45
pastorate, simultaneously with the fiftieth anniver-
sary of the church. In 1883, the church removed
from West Twenty-third Street into their present
handsome and commodious church. West Fifty-
seventh Street, where, on special occasions, come to-
gether the largest assemblies ever gathered in a New
York Baptist church since Elder Knapp preached
in Mulberry Street, almost sixty years ago.
The Stanton Street Church has been called
^' Mother of Churches." How many children and
grandchildren she can lay claim to I do not know,
but it is safe to say that her two eldest daughters
(Fifth Avenue and the Calvary churches), do no dis-
credit to their parentage. After Mr. Bellamy's
resignation, the church called Rev. Stephen Rem-
ington, who (like Rev. Thos. Armitage, Rev. D.
Henry Miller, and many others) began his Christian
career as a Methodist. Mr. Remington served the
church faithfully five years (baptizing two hundred
and eleven persons), when he resigned to become
pastor of a Baptist church in Philadelphia. The
writer knew him well as a devoted Christian, an
earnest and able preacher, and a most genial and
companionable man. He went to his rest and his
reward many years ago.
The church then called their next pastor. Rev.
Edward T. Hiscox, who is still living at the age of
eighty-three years, and constantly engaged in liter-
ary work, although not now a pastor. He served
the Stanton Street Church thirteen years, and bap-
tized two hundred and seventy-nine persons. Doc-
tor Hiscox is a recognized authority on matters of
Baptist polity, and has published many works of
special interest to Baptist churches, notably "The
Baptist Church Directory," a guide to the doctrines,
discipline, officers, ordinances, and customs of Bap-
tist churches, a new edition of which has been re-
cently issued from the press of the American Bap-
tist Publication Society. In 1866 Doctor Hiscox
resigned the pastorate, and was succeeded by Rev.
Christopher Rhodes, who remained eight years, and
baptized one hundred and fifty-six persons. The
church then called Rev. W. H. Leavell, Avho Avas
succeeded by Rev. Samuel J. Knapp. About this
time they decided to change their location to what
was then called the upper part of the city. They
worshiped first in Association Hall, in Twenty-third
Street, then in the lecture room of Doctor Crosby's
church, corner of Fourth Avenue and Twenty-
second Street, and again in Association Hall. While
there Pastor Knapp's health failed entirely, and he
was compelled to resign. The church then called
Rev. H. O. Hiscox (a son of Edward T. Hiscox,
D. D.). Mr. Hiscox accepted the call and remained
three years, during which he baptized thirty-four
converts. It was during this pastorate that the
church built the beautiful little house of worship
on the corner of Twenty-third Street and Lexing-
ton Avenue. Mr. Hiscox was followed by Rev.
L. A. Crandall, d. d. The church was greatly
STANTON STREET BAPTIST CHURCH 47
strengthened during his ministry which continued
over four years, in which time he baptized one hun-
dred and twenty-one converts.
Doctor Crandall resigned to become pastor of the
Euclid Avenue Baptist Church, Cleveland, Ohio.
Rev. Thomas Dixon was chosen to succeed Doctor
Crandall. He was settled as pastor of the church
in 1889, and remained six years, during which he
baptized one hundred and eighty-eight persons.
During his pastorate, the increase of the congrega-
tions was so great that it became necessary to go
back to Association Hall. After Mr. Dixon's res-
ignation the church called their present pastor,
Rev. Boardman B. Bosworth, and returned to their
own house of worship on the corner of Twenty-
third Street and Lexington Avenue. Mr. Bos-
worth's devotion to his sacred calling soon won the
hearts of his people, and his labor among them has
been greatly blessed of God.
In December, 1896, the church sold the property
on Twenty-third Street for one hundred and ten
thousand dollars, and on Lord's Day, February 27,
1897, they held their last meeting on the old field,
ending their work there by observing the ordinances
of baptism and the Lord's Supper.
Removing then to a hall in the United Charities
Building, 105 East Twenty-second Street, they main-
tained public worship there until March 26, 1897,
when they removed to their present field on West
One Hundred and Forty-ninth Street, under the
corporate name of the Washington Heights Baptist
Church. Thus cometh to an end what might be
called Vol. I. of the history of the Stanton Street
Baptist Church, a down-town church, which having
borne the "banner of the cross'' under one regi-
mental flag sixty-three years, now begins Vol. II.
on a new field, in a new edifice, with new hopes and
increased numerical strength, consisting in part of
forty-three members received from the disbanded
Grace Baptist Church. As Vol. I. will ever be
precious as a gracious record of faithful labor
crowned with abundant evidences of divine bless-
ing, so may the record that Vol. II. shall bear, by
the same divine favor, be made still more glorious.
The present membership of the church (1898) is two
hundred and fifty-two.
THE NORTH BAPTIST CHURCH
rpHE North Baptist Church, located on Chris-
-L topher Street, corner of Bedford Street, was
organized in 1827. Its pastors have been as fol-
lows : Rev. J. W. Gibbs supplied the pulpit one
year. The church then called Rev. Jacob H. Brou-
ner, whose pastorate continued a little over twenty
years, when he was suddenly called to his rest. He
was a man of simple and kindly manners, and
greatly beloved both for his own and his work^s
sake. He labored faithfully and died ^^with the
harness on.^' He was stricken in the pulpit on
Sunday morning, September 9, 1848, and expired
on the following Tuesday without recovering con-
sciousness. After Mr. Brouner the church was
served successively by Revs. A. C. Wheat, Aaron
Jackson, and John Quincy Adams, who died in his
study chair in the summer of 1881.
Rev. Frank Remington, of whom it was said he
had "gifts, grace, and gumption," was the next
pastor. He was succeeded by Howard Osgood,
D. D., a ripe scholar, now filling a professor's chair
in Rochester Theological Seminary, an able preacher,
a most genial man, and the readiest, most up-to-date
Sunday-school superintendent I ever knew. I saw
him in that position in the Second Baptist Church,
Rochester, N. Y., where only half an hour is given to
the study of the lesson, and judge from Avhat I saw
and heard. Perhaps some of my readers do not
know that we are indebted to the Episcopalians for
this able, sturdy, and always courteous Baptist, but
such is the fact.
Rev. A. Cleghorn was the next pastor. On en-
tering his pastoral work he soon found himself con-
fronted with a difficult problem, which, however, he
met with courage, dealt with judiciously but firmly,
and by the help of God, solved successfully.
He found a strong Sunday-school organization
claiming an independence of its own, separate from
the church. To overthrow this vaunted independ-
ence and to make the Sunday-school work part of
the church work and subject to its control, was the
task to which he bent the force and fearlessness of
his strong character. He stirred up much opposi-
tion, but the church stood nobly by him. Needed
discipline was rigidly enforced, and thus where a
weaker man might have failed, Mr. Cleghorn suc-
ceeded. The relations of the Sunday-school to the
church were finally adjusted. All honor to the man
who brought it to pass !
Mr. Cleghorn was succeeded by Rev. John J.
Brouner, who was called from his first pastorate of
four years at Staten Island, to fill the pulpit so long
occupied by his revered father. The church was
THE NORTH BAPTIST CHURCH 51
greatly blessed under the ministry of the son, as it
had been under that of the father. A large congre-
gation was gathered, outpourings of the Holy Spirit
were frequent, and the church grew rapidly in lib-
erality, influence, and numbers.
On January 7, 1877, the pastor preached a jubilee
sermon from Ps. 90 : 16, 17, a few extracts from
which cannot fail to prove interesting :
The site of the first meeting-house on Christopher
Street was bought for three thousand five hundred dol-
lars. The pastor, Elder Brouner, collected the greater
part of the money and worked with his own hands on
the building. At length the foundation was laid and the
walls were raised, but before the roof could be put on the
funds gave out, and it seemed that the work must cease.
The walls were braced, and passers-by were reminded of
the Scripture saying, ' ' This man began to build, but was
not able to finish." . . More money was raised, the
building was enclosed, and the eager flock entered the
yet unfinished house with its unplastered walls. Tem-
porary seats, made with pine slabs, were provided, and
on November 14, 1836, the house was dedicated to the
service and worship of God, Doctor Cone preaching in
the morning and Doctor Maclay in the afternoon.
Elder Jacob H. Brouner served as pastor twenty
years and five months, during which time he bap-
tized three hundred and thirty-four converts. Rev.
John J. Brouner was then but nine years of age.
Mr. Brouner remained pastor until he resigned to
become secretary of the Baptist City Mission So-
ciety. He left the church in an excellent condition.
with a membership of three hundred and nine. A
few most touching words from Mr. Brouner's semi-
centennial sermon may fittingly complete my record
of the North Baptist Church :
I came to you, not as a stranger, but as your loved
pastor's son, and as one whose manner of living from my
youth up, was known to you. It was to the Sunday-
school of this church that Christian parents led my in-
fant steps. Here, in boyhood days, I listened to the
preaching of God's word. Here, in my early youth, the
Holy Spirit opened mine eyes. These walls echoed the
first glad songs of my new-born love, as I rejoiced in the
pardon of my sins. In the baptistery of this church I
was baptized. In its pulpit I preached my first sermon.
By your vote I was licensed to preach, and by your lib-
erality I was educated. In this house I knelt to receive
the laying-on of hands in ordination, and I only added
another to the cords already strong, when I came home
to be your pastor. And now, looking out for the future,
while we thank God for all that is past, let us pray as did
our fathers: ''Let thy work, O God, appear unto thy
servants, and thy glory to their children, and let the
beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the
work of our hands upon us. Yea, the work of our hands,
establish thou it." Amen.
THE AMITY *BAPTIST CHURCH
THE Amity Baptist Church, first located in
Amity Street, was formed of a colony from
the Oliver Street Church, of which Rev. John Wil-
liams, father of Dr. W. R. Williams, was pastor to
the time of his death. The church was organized
December 17, 1832, and on the same day Rev. W.
R. Williams was ordained to the ministry and in-
stalled as pastor. Dr. Francis Wayland preaching
the sermon. Doctor Williams' pastorate continued
from his installation until May 1, 1885, when at
the age of eighty-one he was called to his heavenly
rest. As preacher in Amity Street he soon gathered
around him many persons of cultured intellect, who
afterward became prominent in business and pro-
fessional life. These people, who from change of
residence or other cause, sometimes worshiped with
other Baptist churches, never removed or took letters
from their spiritual birthplace.
While Doctor Williams' profound and accurate
scholarship, his vast acquaintance with books, his
seemingly unlimited knowledge of the world, his-
tory, and literature, both sacred and secular, all of
which was ever within reach of his phenomenal
memory, his fervent spirit and creative genius, his
pure and elegant diction, would have attracted and
delighted thousands of listeners, yet he was so limited
by the feebleness of his voice, that his inimitable ser-
mons were inaudible, except to a very limited con-
gregation. Thus he, who under different conditions
might have drawn audiences as large as the Cooper
Union would hold, was obliged to confine his ministra-
tions within the narrow limits of a small meeting-
house, and while his writings had secured for him a
world-wide fame, his friends and fellow-citizens at
home could seldom enjoy his ministrations. Doctor
Williams was modest and retiring, almost diffident
in his manner, seldom making himself prominent in
public meetings, almost never, unless called out from
some corner in which he had quietly seated himself.
Yet there were times when his spirit was so deep-
ly stirred that he overcame for the time all his diffi-
dence and physical weakness, and gave utterance to
his thoughts in words that could be heard in a large
assembly, and which could not be easily forgotten.
The writer remembers one or two such occasions
that seem worthy of record, even on the ground
that occasional exceptions serve to give, by contrast,
greater emphasis to one's general course and char-
acter. The first instance of the kind that I re-
member occurred in the Oliver Street meeting-house,
at a meeting of the Baptist Missionary Union, where
and when the policy of the foreign secretary (Rev.
Doctor Peck) was fiercely and (as Doctor Williams
THE AMITY BAPTIST CHURCH 55
and many others thought) unjustly assailed by a
number of delegates present. It was strongly sus-
pected that the head and front of the secretary's
offending was found, not so much in his administra-
tion of the Society's affairs as in his neglect to treat
with coveted deference the large number of callers
(especially of ministerial) who felt themselves entitled
to more consideration than he had time to bestow.
Burning with indignation at this injustice, Doctor
Williams mounted a seat in the middle of the au-
dience room, and poured forth one of those wither-
ing pieces of elegant sarcasm of which he was per-
fect master. He pictured two courtiers riding
together, engaged in friendly chat. One of them,
entirely destitute of personal merit, and possessed
of no marked ability, either as statesman or civilian,
had nevertheless got to the front, and basked con-
tinually in the sunshine of popular favor. His
friend, well knowing the shallowness of which the
popular man himself was not wholly unconscious,
asked him how he managed to retain his popularity.
^^ Oh,'' was the reply, " I have a large bill at my
hatter's." " A large bill at your hatter's ? What
has that to do with it?'' was the next query. "Just
this. I always take off my hat to every man that
looks at me on the street," was the reply. " J/r.
3Ioderator,'^ said Doctor Williams, addressing the
chair, and raising his voice to its utmost capacity,
" Mr. Moderator, our secretary is a poor man.
He can't afford to wear out so many hats."
The effect on the audience was electrical. Doc-
tor Williams took his seat amid a great sensation,
and the foreign secretary of the Missionary Union
was re-elected without a dissenting voice.
Doctor Williams was a man of study and reflec-
tion, rather than of aggressive action, and certainly
gave no evidence of a disposition to belligerency ;
but he held a powerful lance, and if forced into a
conflict, the above example will serve to show that
he who would become his antagonist had better
make sure of his position and stand well to his
Another instance occurs to my recollection, in
which Doctor Williams' skillful use of sarcasm was
very effective. It happened in the Old Tabernacle
Church, in Mulberry Street. Some brethren had
conceived the idea that it would be a good thing to
unite all the Baptist churches in the city in one ex-
clusive Association, and had called a public meeting
for the purpose of getting their project popularly
As was natural, the discussion turned on the dan-
ger to be apprehended from centralized power, which
some thought not worth considering in comparison
with the manifest advantages to accrue.
Doctor Williams took a very different view, con-
tending that such centralization of power was fraught
with the direst evils. He contended that power so
held was not only dangerous, but fatal to human
liberty. He likened it to an untamable brute.
THE AMITY BAPTIST CHURCH 57
"Sir," said he, addressing the chairman of the meet-
ing, "the hyena is neither to be tamed nor trusted. You
may attempt to teach him better manners, but he is a
hyena still, unchanged and unchangeable. Sir, you
might even put him through a theological institution,
and when he came out, I would not trust him by the
grave of my grandfather."
The project failed, and the meeting adjourned
After Doctor Williams' death the church remained
without a pastor until the latter part of January,
1887, when it extended a call to Leighton Williams,
Esq., the elder son of Dr. William R. Williams.
Mr. Williams accepted the call, giving up a suc-
cessful legal practice in order to do so, and the
church at once called a council of churches to advise
as to the propriety of ordaining him to the work of
the gospel ministry. This council met on January
28, 1887, and pursuant to its recommendation, Mr.
Williams was ordained on Lord's Day, May 8, 1887,
in the chapel of the church, Dr. H. L. Wayland
preaching the sermon.
Extensive and commodious buildings have been
erected on lots long owned by the church on West
Fifty-fourth Street, between Eighth and Ninth Ave-
nues, where, in addition to the regular church work
of preaching the gospel to adults and children, and
striving to win souls for Christ, a large benevolent
work is being prosecuted under the general super-
intendence of the indefatigable pastor, in which he
was largely and gratuitously aided by George W.
Samson, d. d., until his death, and is still efficiently
aided by his brother, Mornay Williams, Esq. In
1897 the church reported a membership of one hun-
dred and fifty-six. It withdrew from the Associ-
ation previous to the session of 1898.
SIXTEENTH BAPTIST CHURCH
THIS church was organized in 1833, in West Six-
teenth Street, between Seventh and Eighth
Avenues. Before it was organized as a church,
Brethren Samuel P. White, John Day, John Hal-
stead, and a few others, held meetings in the house
of Brother Day, 411 West Eighteenth Street. This
soon became too small for their needs, and a frame
building, twenty by fifty feet, was erected in Eigh-
teenth Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.
This could not have been done but for the self-
sacrificing spirit of Deacon Halstead. He had a
hardware store on Eighth Avenue, from which he
furnished such building hardware as was required ;
and when the builder notified him that the work
must stop unless more money was forthcoming, his
reply was, ^^ I have no money, but I have goods.
Send your wagon up to my store and help your-
The present meeting-house was erected in 1833,
and the first preacher to occupy its pulpit was Elder
David Bernard, who served the church from Oc-
tober, 1833, to May, 1834. He was followed by
Rev. James L. Hodge, whose pastorate ended Jan-
uary 24, 1835, when he resigned to accept the call
of the First Baptist Church in Albany. Doctor
Hodge is still living, but retired many years ago.
After leaving Albany, he served successfully the
First Church, Brooklyn, the First Church in East
New York, and the Mariner's Temple Baptist
Church of this city. He was an able preacher, tender
Doctor Hodge was followed in the Sixteenth
Church by Rev. Jay S. Backus, who remained from
September, 1839, to August, 1840. He was suc-
ceeded a month later by Rev. Alonzo Wheelock,
who served the church seven years. Doctor Wheel-
ock was a controversialist, and published a discourse
containing his views on sacrifice and atonement, con-
tending that while the sacrifice which procured the
atonement was made on the cross, the atonement
was made in heaven. His views were challenged
and ably replied to by Mrs. A. C. Putnam, a mem-
ber of the Macdougal Street Baptist Church.
The next pastor was Rev. Joseph W. Taggart^
who served the church nine years, and was followed
by Rev. William S. Mikels in a pastorate of sixteen
years. Rev. David B. Jutten was the next pastor.
He served ten years, and then resigned to accept a
call from a church in Boston. The next pastor was
Rev. Matthew H. Pogson, who is now the secretary
and manager of the " Baptist Ministers' Home " at
West Farms. Rev. A. W. Hodder, the present
pastor, entered on his pastorate in 1892. His sue-
SIXTEENTH BAPTIST CHURCH 61
cess as a pastor and a leader in the " Christian En-
deavor ^' work is well known.
Broome Street Baptist Church. A Baptist church
in Broome Street, a few blocks from the East River,
was incorporated May 6, 1834, under the name of
the Broome Street Baptist Church. On October 30,
1834, its name was changed to the East Baptist
Church, and on October 31, 1838, it adopted the
name of the East Broome Street Baptist Church. On
August 10, 1840, a new house of worship in Can-
non Street having been erected, the corporate name
was again changed, and that of the Cannon Street
Baptist Church was taken. The pastors that I
remember as settled in these several churches, or
one church with several names, were Revs. Zelotes
Grenell, Joseph Barnard, D. d., Henry Davis, D. D.,
H. J. Eddy, d. d., and Wm. Pendleton, d. d. It
w^as during Mr. GrenelPs pastorate, and largely
through his efforts, that the new house in Cannon
Street was completed.
Mr. Grenell had received neither a classical nor
a theological education, except as he obtained the
latter from the Bible, and I have heard him say
that he laid many a rod of stone wall after he was
ordained to the work of the ministry ; yet it will
readily be conceded by those who have heard him,
that in his day there were few abler preachers than
THE TABERNACLE CHURCH
THE Tabernacle Baptist Church had its first
home in Mulberry Street, near Chatham.
The following are the circumstances that in 1839
led to its organization as a new church :
The meeting-house was encumbered w^ith a mort-
gage of eleven thousand dollars, and liable to fore-
closure. It was understood that the Roman Catho-
lics stood ready to purchase it for a church of their
own faith, when, at the earnest suggestion of Dea-
con William Colgate, the Oliver Street Church made
overtures to the brethren in Mulberry Street, which
resulted in an amicable arrangement. The condi-
tions of this were that the former church should pay
the mortgage and become owner of the property.
The Oliver Street Church then appropriated an ad-
ditional thousand dollars to put the building in
thorough repair and make it attractive for public
worship. They appointed a committee to shape and
carry out its plan, and also to conduct religious serv-
ices in the renovated house when the contemplated
improvements should be completed. The committee
consisted of deacons William Colgate, Joshua Gil-
bert, Eliakim Raymond, William D. Murphy, and
THE TABERNACLE CHURCH 63
several others. A re-union had already been
brought about between the West Baptist Church
(until then under the pastoral care of Rev. John
Dowling) and the parent body in Mulberry Street.
In the meantime the appropriation of one thousand
dollars had been so judiciously and tastefully ex-
pended that the renovated meeting-house might well
have been pronounced ^^A thing of beauty," but
alas ! not '^ a joy forever."
Other Baptist churches — being without meeting-
houses or without pastors — were invited to cast in
their lot with the new enterprise, and the Tabernacle
Baptist Church was successfully launched on a long
career of usefulness. Would that it had proved a
perpetual one, but alas ! The committee then in-
vited Rev. Beniah Hoe, formerly of England, to
become the preacher for nine months, or until the
new church should have time to elect its own pastor.
This matter of choosing a pastor was the cause of
some little feeling for a while. Some of the most
influential of the committee wished to retain Rev.
B. Hoe, while many of the former members of the
West Church (which was now a majority of the
whole) desired to call their old pastor. Doctor Dow-
ling. Happily, this feeling soon subsided, and the
church cordially united in calling Rev. William W.
Everts, who was then within a month of graduating
Several able preachers supplied the pulpit while
the youthful pastor-elect went back to his Alma
Mater for graduation, and when he entered fully
upon his ministry all hearts turned warmly to him.
A little prior to this time Elder Jacob Knapp had
inaugurated, in the city of Baltimore, that aston-
ishing series of evangelistic meetings which, being
crowned by divine power, were followed by such
large ingatherings of souls that the report of them
flashed like electricity, not only over the city in
which they occurred, but over the entire country.
Deacon \yilliam Colgate, of the Tabernacle Church,
had been present at some of these meetings, and was
so impressed with the manifestations of the divine
presence that, at his suggestion, the Tabernacle
Church sent an invitation to Elder Knapp to spend
a few weeks with it in holding similar meetings.
After Elder Knapp had spent some weeks in Al-
bany, the invitation was accepted, and a series of
meetings followed, which lasted nine consecutive
weeks, and were truly wonderful for the manifesta-
tion of the divine presence and power. Hundreds
upon hundreds were converted and baptized into the
fellowship of the church, while hundreds more united
with other churches. True, there were " many ad-
versaries,'' and also many deliverances, for Satan
seemed to " come down with great power,'' as if " be-
lieving he had but a short time " ; but God shielded
and protected his faithful, fearless servant here, as
he had done elsewhere, so that not a single weapon
which was formed against him — and there were
many — was suffered to prosper.
THE TABERNACLE CHURCH 65
Not a single shaft can hit,
Till the God of love sees fit.
It would be extremely difficult to describe Elder
Knapp as a preacher, yet, in some respects at least,
it is safe to say we have not seen his counterpart.
While his dark-browed countenance bore an aspect
of severity, it could not fail to impress the careful
observer with the fact that it also expressed the true
dignity of one who is conscious that he bears a mes-
sage from God. As a reasoner, he was candid and
sincere, and if his manner was sometimes almost
savage, his logic was irresistible to a candid mind.
He dealt his blows against all sin and all infidelity
as with a sledge-hammer. His pet antagonism was
Universalism, and so destructive were the strokes
he aimed at it, that the bold Universalism of that
day seems nowhere to be found. Restorationists
there are, and they are numerous ; but Universalists
of the Hosea Ballon type do not exist among rea-
soning men. It will be said that ^^ Elder Knapp
sometimes used rough language and was not at all
polite. He stirred up a bitter hatred in the breasts
of many who went every night to hear him.'^ True ;
but still they went, and he boldly defied them to
stay away. He knew that they went for chaif, not
wheat, and he always had a bag of it with which to
supply them. Peradventure, they might occasion-
ally receive a grain of wheat.
Again, it was objected that, " Instead of being
always grave and sedate, as becomes a minister of
the gospel, he made his audience laugh/' This is
also true. The elder had the ability to make the
entire congregation laugh whenever he pleased ; but
he never exercised the gift except for a purpose,
which he immediately made to appear, and always
checked the demonstration wlien the object was
gained. Some of his modern imitators can evoke
laughter, and keep their congregations in a titter
through half their discourses ; but Elder Knapp
could do what few can do. He could raise a finger
and the entire congregation would be as quiet as the
grave, while he made the application he desired.
The winter of 1840, when these meetings were
held, was the third of those disastrous years which
commenced with 1837. All earthly supports seemed
to have given way, and many persons who in sea-
sons of worldly prosperity might have gone on,
Gallio-like, " caring for none of these things,'' now
had their hearts solemnized and their thoughts di-
rected to the worth of their souls. This, and the
general lack of employment, doubtless contributed to
increase the religious congregations, not only in
Mulberry Street, but all over our city, and indeed
throughout the land. It Avas in Mulberry Street,
however, that the interest of our city churches cen-
tered, and as this was the church-home of the writer,
he w^as able to attend every meeting, and thus re-
cords what he saw and heard.
Every week large numbers were immersed either
in the baptistery or frequently in the Hudson River,
THE TABERNACLE CHURCH 67
near the New Jersey shore. Elder Knapp always
assisted the pastor in the administration. Some of the
newspapers of the day, conspicuously the ^^New York
Herald," which was not the respectable sheet it is
to-day, took delight in holding these immersions up
to ridicule, often publishing caricatures of the sub-
jects and the administrators. All this advertised
the Tabernacle meetings, increased the congrega-
tion, and promoted, rather than hindered, the glori-
ous work that was being carried on, showing how
abundantly God can " cause the wrath of man to
Not less interesting were the occasions on which
those who had been baptized were publicly received
into the church. At such times the persons to
whom the hand of fellowship was to be extended,
were at the entrance of the pews on each side of
every aisle of the church edifice, from wall to wall,
a sight not to be forgotten. People cried, " Won-
derful excitement ! " " They are frightened into
religion ! " ^' How long will they hold out ? "
Doubtless there was some chaff with the wheat.
Some stony ground and some wayside hearers are
found among those supposed genuine converts gath-
ered into the most careful and conservative churches
and in seasons that none would think of calling " times
of excitement." Doubtless there were some self-
deceived persons brought into the Tabernacle Church
during this great and blessed revival of religion —
perhaps even hypocrites ; but those who were mem-
bers of or familiar with the subsequent history of
that church, as the writer was from 1839 to 1851,
can testify not only to the general good deportment
of those remaining in the city, but also to continual
reports that came from all parts of our land of Sun-
day-schools started and churches founded by those
who were converted in the Tabernacle Church
during the great revival.
To continue the history of the church. The
youthful pastor, Mr. Everts, was constantly de-
nouncing every form of evil, not only intemperance,
rumselling, and other sins known to exist among
us, but especially the sin of slaveholding, with
which many influential members of the church
thought, " We of the North have nothing to do."
The relations between these and the pastor became
more and more strained and uncomfortable, until
about the close of 1842 or the beginning of 1843,
when the latter resigned his pastorate and took
charge of the newly organized church in Laight
Street, corner of Varick. He occupied the same
meeting-house in which Rev. Hanson S. Cox had
preached, and from which he had uttered such phil-
ippics against the whole slaveholding system as
caused him to be mobbed and literally driven from
the city. This edifice had been purchased for Bap-
tist uses mainly through the efforts of Mr. Everts
while he remained in Mulberry Street.
A year or two after Mr. Everts^ resignation had
been accepted, the Tabernacle Church extended a
THE TABERNACLE CHURCH 69
call to Eev. Edward Lathrop, of Beaufort, S. C,
where he had been assistant or associate pastor with
the eloquent and popular Richard Fuller, d. d.
The call was accepted, and Mr. Lathrop entered
upon his pastorate January 1, 1844. A few years
older than Mr. Everts had been when the latter
entered upon pastoral work, Mr. Lathrop brought
with him some years of experience, and although of
warm temperament, he was less impulsive than his
youthful predecessor. A Southerner by birth and
education, slavery and slaveholding could never
look to him as they had appeared to Mr. Everts.
He had therefore little or nothing to say in his
pulpit about the "peculiar institutions'^ of the
South. He devoted himself assiduously to his work
as preacher and pastor, and soon made himself be-
loved by the church and congregation. Shortly
after his coming to the city his work was inter-
rupted by a severe illness, and for a long time his
life was despaired of. When sufficiently recovered
to be removed, he went to Massachusetts to recu-
perate, but it was many months before he returned to
his pulpit. Meantime, the pastoral duties of the
church were faithfully performed by Rev. George
Hatt, a godly man, whose ministrations are held in
grateful remembrance by the older members of our
Dr. Lathrop's ministry continued in Mulberry
Street until December, 1850, when the church re-
moved to the beautiful new edifice — sadly marred
since then by alterations and additions — in Second
Avenue, between Tenth and Eleventh Streets.
The dedicatory sermon was preached by the
pastor, December 22, 1850, from Acts 8 : 5-8.
Subject, "Cities in their Relation to the World^s
Evangelization.^' It was an interesting and very
able discourse, to which the writer listened with
Perhaps it is not proper to write of the preaching
of one who is yet with us ; if it is, that of Doctor
Lathrop should be described as marked by two char-
acteristics — its uniformly evangelical character and
its clearness of statement, which made his subject as
plain to the attentive listener as it was in his own
mind. Doctor Lathrop served the church faithfully
and Avith great acceptance for twenty-six years, six
of them in Mulberry Street and twenty in Second
Avenue. Finding that the care of a large city
church was seriously impairing his health, he re-
signed to become pastor of the First Baptist Church
of Stamford, Conn. With this church he closed his
public ministry in 1886, and soon afterward came
to reside in this city. Complete relief from public
duties and abundant leisure seem to have caused
a renewal of youth. May his genial presence long
abide with us.
After Doctor Lathrop' s resignation, the pulpit of
the Tabernacle Church was supplied for six months
by J. S. Holme, d. d. The next pastor was J. R.
Kendrick, D. D., who was followed by Rev. Doc-
THE TABERNACLE CHURCH 71
tors Wayland Hoyt, Robert B. Hull, and Daniel C.
Potter. The church edifice and other property for-
merly held by the church, is now in possession of
the City Baptist Mission Society, by virtue of a fore-
closure of a mortgage thereon. Doctor Potter, and
such of the church and congregation as affiliate with
him, meet elsewhere.^ A new church has just been
planted in the old field, and is greatly prospering
under the pastoral care of Rev. J. A. Francis, for-
merly pastor of the Riverside Church.
The writer's membership in the Tabernacle
Church ceased with his letter of dismissal to unite
with the Norfolk Street Baptist Church, where he
received the hand of fellowship on the first Sunday
in July, 1851. In 1897 the Tabernacle Church
reported a membership of four hundred and thirty-
three persons. In 1898 it ceased to be a member
of the Association.
^ Doctor Potter and the Tabernacle Church ceased to be-
long to the Southern New York Association before the close
of the session of 1898.
THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH
(now fifth avenue)
IT has already been noted that in 1841 three hun-
dred and twenty-one members of the Stanton
Street Church, under the leadership of their pastor,
Rev. George Benedict, took letters of dismission to
form a new Baptist church in Norfolk Street. On
February 15, of the same year, a council of dele-
gates from sister churches publicly recognized these
brethren and sisters as a regular Baptist church, in
a series of exercises in which the moderator of the
council, Rev. Spencer H. Cone, preached from Rev.
2 : 2, "The seven golden candlesticks." Rev. Silas
Illsley, then pastor of the First Baptist Church,
Brooklyn, extended the hand of fellowship to the
new church, and Rev. Charles G. Somers gave the
charge and the hand of fellowship to the pastor.
The new church purchased the meeting-house then
standing on the corner of Broome and Norfolk
Streets, formerly occupied by a congregation under
the care of Elder Isaac N. AA^alter, known as the
Christian Church, for the sum of twelve thousand
dollars, and assumed the name of the Norfolk Street
THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH 73
The same rich showers of divine blessing that
distinguished Mr. Benedict's ministry in Stanton
Street continued with him on his new field of labor,
and from 1841 to 1846 there were few months that
did not bring accessions to the church. In that
year, however, his health began to decline, and a
little more than a year later it became evident to all
that this devoted servant of God had well-nigh fin-
ished his earthly course. A season of rest had been
tried in vain, and the best medical skill proved
equally unavailing to recuperate his exhausted
strength. Under these circumstances it became evi-
dent that the beloved pastor must immediately be
relieved of all active labor, and that it would soon
become imperative to choose a successor.
The following extracts relating to the closing
events in Mr. Benedict's life and his own call to
become his successor are from Doctor Armitage's
history of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church:
On June 12, 1848, a new trial was added in the loss of
the meeting-house by fire. These thickening troubles
seemed for a time not only to threaten but to overwhelm
both the pastor and the church. Finally, after much
prayer, and the persuasion that his work was ended and
his life must soon close, he reached the conclusion (alike
sad to himself and to his flock) that duty called him to
retire from the pastorate. The church meeting held
June 19, 1848, was the last at which he was present to
preside over and otherwise aid the church in its delibera-
tions. . . His flock loved and revered him as a father,
for most of them had been brought to Christ under his
ministry ; they had seen the meekness and fortitude with
which he had borne his trials and suffering, and they felt
much as we suppose the Ephesian believers felt when the
Apostle Paul notified them that " they would see his face
no more. ' '
Under these circumstances the affectionate but en-
feebled pastor pressed upon his people the necessity of
relieving him from all furtiier service and care ; exhorted
them to new courage, notwithstanding the sorrows that
had overtaken them, and with tears urged upon them
the necessity of unity among themselves, and the imme-
diate settlement of some irritating difficulties then exist-
ing in the body. Then he tendered his resignation as
pastor, earnestly urging its acceptance with entire una-
nimity on their part, and begging that he might be al-
lowed to name his successor.
After careful consideration and lengthened con-
ference his devout wish to be released from labor
was unanimously acceded to, and his successor was
at the same time unanimously chosen to stand in his
place. This noble servant of God then retired to
his home to die, full of hope, full of light, and full
of love. Patiently and in great suffering he awaited
the coming of his Lord, and on October 28, 1848,
the faithful ambassador fell asleep in Jesus. His
remains rest in Greenwood, and there are many per-
sons in our churches in this vicinity who justly hold
his memory in tender sacredness to this day.
On June 20, 1848, Hon. George H. Andrews, as
chairman of a committee appointed by the church to
inform the pastor-elect of its action, submitted a
unanimous call to Rev. Thomas Armitage, of Albany,
THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH 75
N. Y., which was promptly accepted. In all likeli-
hood this invitation would have been as promptly
declined but for the appeal which Mr. Benedict
made to him shortly before, to the effect that if the
call were declined he should regard the declination
as most painful to himself, for he had seen no one
else to whose care he desired to leave his sacred
charge. This appeal, enforced by the advice of
Dr. B. T. Welch, of Albany, and the consideration
that the church was in deep distress and in a sense
homeless, decided the matter.
The call was accepted on the following terms :
First. That the salary of the pastor was to be twelve
hundred dollars per annum.
Second. That the engagement was for one year.
Third. That the connection should not be dissolved
at the expiration of one year, or at any time thereafter,
by either party, without giving the other three months'
The new pastor of the Norfolk Street Church
entered upon his work July 1, 1848.
REV. THOMAS ARMITAGE
AS Rev. Thomas Armitage has been destined to
occupy a prominent place, both as a preacher
and a leader among our people, a brief recital of
some of the salient points in his early life, as learned
from himself by the writer, who had intimate official
relations with him for more than forty years, may
perhaps be admissible.
Thomas Armitage was born in England, in the
county of Yorkshire, in 1819. When twelve years
of age he gave his heart to God in a AYesleyan
Methodist church. When he was fifteen years old,
in accordance with a custom then prevalent in Meth-
odist churches in England, he was sent in company
with some mature and experienced brother to vari-
ous Methodist out-stations, to exercise his gifts in
public speaking. These gifts were soon found to be
such that he was encouraged to use them freely as
At an early age God directed his course to this
country, which proved to be the theatre of his life-
work. Shortly after his arrival in this city a gen-
tleman having great influence in the Protestant
Episcopal Church became so impressed with the
THOMAS ARMITAGE, D. D.
REV. THOMAS ARMITAGE 77
ability of the young Englishman that he offered
him a scholarship in an Episcopal college, on condi-
tion that when he graduated he should take orders
in the Episcopal Church. Perhaps no young man
would have been more glad than Thomas Armitage
to obtain in early life such a liberal education as
might have helped him to attain more readily that
ripe scholarship which his heart was set upon
achieving. But this was too high a price to pay.
He was then, and for many years thereafter, a
Methodist from conviction, and no proffered ad-
vancement or personal emolument could outweigh
Not long afterward he was ordained a Methodist
preacher, and after serving several other churches
in New York State, was settled over a church in the
city of Albany. It was here that he began to have
doubts as to the scriptural authority for infant bap-
tism. He had a child of the proper age to be
christened, according to the usage of the Methodist
Church, and one of his elders suggested the pro-
priety of its being done at once. The father hesi-
tated, but diligently pursued his investigation of the
Scriptures, with the result that he became convinced
not only that an unconscious infant is not a proper
subject for baptism, but that he himself had never
been baptized. With this conviction he at once sur-
rendered his credentials as a Methodist minister into
the hands of the constituted authorities, and received
baptism at the hands of Kev. Bartholomew T. Welch,
then pastor of the Pearl Street Church, Albany, N.
Y. Shortly afterward he received and accepted a
call to become pastor of the Norfolk Street Baptist
Church, in New York, as already stated.
From its organization the Norfolk Street Church
had been known as a working church. Doctor Ar-
mitage's labors, like those of his predecessor, Mr.
Benedict, were arduous and unremitting, and his
natural eloquence attracted and held large audiences.
The deacons and private members were indefatigable
in what they understood to be their respective de-
partments — the former in visiting the sick and car-
ing for the poor, the latter in Sunday-school in-
struction and other work for building up the church
But there was another movement in progress
which at first, either from its novelty or its supposed
impracticability, found little favor; yet "a little
leaven" in time "leavens the whole lump." Among
the recent accessions from other churches was one
who had long entertained the conviction that our
Lord's command to preach the gospel, was not, and
was never intended to be, limited to a particular
order of men set apart that they should make the
ministry of Christ their life-work. For these ordi-
nation by the churches seems proper and convenient,
though not indispensable. But in addition to these
the Great Commission was both an authorization and
a solemn injunction, it was said, from the Head of
the church to every one of his disciples, to preach
REV. THOMAS ARMITAGE 79
his word to the full extent of his ability and oppor-
tunity. Consequently every Christian man is sol-
emnly bound, alike by his duty to God and his rela-
tions to man, to give himself to this work within
Tlie new-comer did not hesitate to ventilate his
opinions, or fail to insist that these views were not
new to Baptists; that as far back as 1848, when the
Hudson River Baptist Association met in Laight
Street, Rev. C. G. Somers, moderator, the subject
and importance of lay-preaching was introduced,
and received the approval and endorsement of such
honored brethren as Rev. Wm. W. Everts, then pas-
tor of the church, Rev. Chas. G. Somers, Rev. Jacob
H. Brouner, and other influential members of the
Association; that the same subject was frequently
mooted at subsequent meetings of the Hudson River
and New York Baptist Associations, and always met
with approval. This agitation continued until 1862,
when the New York Baptist Association, meeting
that year at East Marion, L. I., resolved unani-
mously to issue the address, a full copy of which is
in the hands of the writer, from which the following
excerpts are given:
The New York Baptist Association to the pastors and
churches within our Associational limits.
Dear Brethren. We ask your serious and earnest at-
tention to the following resolutions offered at our seventy-
first anniversary, and unanimously adopted :
Resolved. First, That as a means of supplying the lack
of religious instruction and regular preaching of the
word, found to exist in various parts of the field which
we as Christians and Baptists are called upon to culti-
vate, and in view of the present inability of our Associa-
tion, or the people within such destitue parts whom it
seeks to evangelize, to sustain a regular ministry, we deem
it expedient and desirable to revive and encourage lay-
preaching within our Associational limits.
Resolved. Second, That pastors and churches be and
hereby are, requested to seek out from among their num-
bers, brethren possessing suitable gifts, and invite and en-
courage them to devote a part of their time to this work,
without abandoning their respective secular callings.
The Association is deeply impressed with" a sense of
the following facts :
First. That it is the duty of every believer to do all
in his power to extend the knowledge and influence of
Second. That in addition to the regular ministry there
are very many members of our churches qualified, or
capable of becoming qualified, to proclaim the gospel to
Third. That the number of destitute places where
such gifts could appropriately be exercised, is far greater,
especially in the vicinity of large cities, than is generally
Fourth. When, under the blessing of God, such laborers
arise, such destitute places as are accessible should be
statedly occupied by them. . . While these means are
being used to develop the latent talent that is to be found
in all our churches, there will doubtless be found some
whose duty to devote themselves wholly to the work of
the gospel ministry will prove unmistakable, and thus
the regular ministry will be reinforced ; but this will be
only an incidental, though happy result. The main ob-
ject should be to develop the gifts of the private members
REV. THOMAS ARMITAGE 81
of our churches in harmony with the aspirations of him
who said: ** Would that all the Lord's people were
After emphasizing the duty of all to whom God
has given the ability to ^^ preach the word ^^ as he
has opportunity, the address concludes with a few
words of caution, as follows :
While a layman may, and ought to, preach the gospel
to the above extent, it would be a dangerous mistake to
suppose such preaching to be incompatible with the ut-
most diligence in any legitimate employment. For while
we cannot have too many preachers, provided always
they preach the truth, we may have too few merchants,
mechanics, and farmers, and hence we venture to sug-
gest, finally, that while the fullest encouragement should
be given for all to labor in the Lord's vineyard, the
churches can scarcely be too cautious in advising a per-
son to abandon an honest worldly calling in which he is
useful, for the work of a pastor. In no case should the
idea be permitted to obtain, that the sanction given by a
church to its members to preach the gospel, according to
the spirit of the above resolutions, is to be regarded as a
stepping-stone to ordination, or to any other mode of in-
duction into the ministerial office.
The above copious extracts are inserted here be-
cause the writer believes that the principles they
embody are as scriptural, as practical, as important,
and as worthy of the consideration of all our churches
to-day as they ever were, and will continue to be so
until the last human soul is won to Christ.
THE BAPTIST LAY-PREACHING ASSOCIATION
LAY-PREACHERS Association, would seem
more proper; but as many brethren who
sympathized with the object and were willing to
support it, were not willing to attempt preaching,
the above name was adopted. As the result of fre-
quent interchanges of opinion between members of
different Baptist churches who held like opinions, a
meeting was called at the house of Mr. George W.
Hillman, to consider what action should be taken ;
and after prayerful deliberation, it was resolved to
form a society with the above name and purpose.
All present signed their names to the resolution,
and very soon the Baptist Lay-preaching Association
included in its membership the well-known names
of Hon. George H. Andrews, Hon. William D.
Murphy, Deacons William Phelps, Samuel T. Hill-
man, John W. Stevens, Roger H. Lyon, Esq., Ed-
win F. Hatfield, Henry Angell, A. D. Chadsey,
M. D., Charles T. Goodwin, John C. Baxter, Benja-
min F. Judson, and many others, including the
writer. The Norfolk Street Church now entered
heartily into the work. Preaching stations were
sought for and established on Third Avenue, in
THE BAPTIST LAY-PREACHING ASSOCIATION 83
Glass Hall, East Thirty-fourth Street, on the east
side of the city, and on the west side, as far over as
Eleventh Avenue and Eighty-first Street. To each
of these stations went two brethren every Sunday
afternoon, to preach Christ crucified, the only hope
of lost sinners. Besides these distant stations,
meetings were held every Sunday afternoon in a
public hall on Broome Street near Elizabeth Street,
and there also went two members of the Association
every week, one of whom was expected to preach a
short sermon from some portion of the word of God,
the other to supplement, if he could do so, in the
same line of thought, or to assist in some other way.
These meetings were always well attended, and thus
multitudes listened to the gospel from the lips of
laymen, who rarely, if ever, entered an evangelical
Were these lay-preachers licensed to preach by
their respective churches? As a rule, they were
not. Some of them had, in fact, received such license
prior to the formation of the Association, and perhaps
two or three others were formally licensed afterward ;
but the majority Avould have declined a license for
two reasons : First, because as each had his own
business on which to rely, they neither asked nor
accepted pecuniary compensation, except to pay
traveling expenses, to purchase a book to aid them
in their preparations, or to apply to some charitable
purpose directly in the line of their work. Whereas,
a licentiate, as a rule, expects, and very properly
expects, to be paid for his ministrations by the
church or party calling for his services. Second,
these lay-preachers would not ask a license to
preach, because to do so would be to concede to the
church applied to the right to forbid, a right which
they have always felt assured no Baptist church
would claim or exercise, so long, at least, as the
preachers sustained a good moral character and
preached nothing but the truth.
Moreover, the brethren composing the Lay-
preaching Association believed that much evil had
come to our churches and the cause of Christ by
licensing young men to preach the gospel before their
ability to preach had been sufficiently tested. A young
man, ardent, devoted, rejoicing in the assurance that
his sins are freely pardoned, is full of zeal, and de-
sires most sincerely to do something effective in the
service of his Saviour, and he asks, "What is so
effective as to give one's self to the gospel ministry ? "
Thus impressed, he asks and receives a license to
preach. But preaching is not so easy as he thought
it would be. He might have become an excellent
mechanic, a good farmer, or a prosperous merchant,
and have done good work for his Lord and for the
church, perhaps, in either department ; but with the
aid of the church that gave him a license, he has
closed those doors of honorable labor on himself.
He has given himself to the work of the gospel
ministry, and dares not draw back. Results : He is
always looking for a " field,'' or some poor church
THE BAPTIST LAY-PREACHING ASSOCIATION 85
gets a poor preacher, and both the church and the
world suffer loss.
Now would it not have been better to allow him
to preach without the formality of a license, until he
should have learned for himself whether people
wanted to hear him ? If he found they did not, he
could retire from the work, a little chagrined, per-
haps, but without a sense of dishonor. If the people
did want him it would be time enough to license and
ordain him on the same day.
But some may ask, what became of the Lay-
preaching Association ? Answer : When the Bap-
tist City Mission was organized to be the " working
arm^^ of the Southern New York Baptist Association,
it took the place of the Baptist Sunday-school Union,
which latter had always fraternized with the lay
preachers, and gladly availed itself of their unpaid
labors. The new society thought it best to appoint
only ordained ministers at its mission stations, each
with a stipulated salary. On learning of this de-
cision, the lay preachers, seeing no further need
for their existence as an organization, discontinued
their weekly meetings, and virtually disbanded.
But did the individual members give up preach-
ing? By no means. Death has greatly depleted
their numbers ; age and infirmity have overtaken
some of those who are left ; but their convictions
are unchanged, and those who are yet able are as
ready to preach to a destitute church as they ever
have been, without money and without price.
THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH (CONTINUED)
AS has been said, Doctor Armitage entered on his
pastorate in Norfolk Street, July 1, 1848. It
should have been added that he preached his first
sermon in the lecture room of Rutgers Institute,
then located in Madison Street, which the trustees
of that school had kindly placed at the disposal of
the church while a new church edifice was being
erected. The church had in the meantime decided
to sell the plot of ground, corner of Broome, and
Norfolk Streets, and build their new church home
on the east side of Norfolk Street, between Broome
and Grand Streets.
The new place of worship was dedicated to God
January 20, 1850, and cost about thirty thousand
dollars. For several years it was crowded Lord's
Day after Lord's Day, by audiences that listened to
the preaching of the pastor with delight and profit,
while there were large ingatherings of precious souls.
But there were trials also. In 1852 certain diffi-
culties, which dated back to Mr. Benedict's ministry,
and which he had vainly entreated might be settled
during his lifetime, came to a head, causing deep
sorrow and bitter contention, which soon after led to
THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH 87
the exclusion of twenty-six persons from the church,
and the dismission of a large number by letter, and
eventually to the withdrawal of fellowship from a
sister church which, contrary to Baptist usage, had
received these excluded members.
Happily these breaches of Christian comity which
disturbed the peace of some of our churches in those
days were long since healed, and so far as this
writer knows, each Baptist church in this city is in
perfect harmony with every other. The difficulties
had however caused serious dissensions between the
pastor and some of his deacons, dissensions which
were greatly aggravated, if indeed not wholly caused
by, the burning question of the day, the revision
The Norfolk Street Church had early taken posi-
tion in favor of the revision of the English Scrip-
tures. Those opposed were a small minority but a
very bitter one, and capable (as the following pages
will show) of working most disastrous consequences.
One Sunday morning in July, 1851, the pastor,
who had already become a leader on the side of the
revisionists, had (in the exercise of a privilege
usually conceded to a pastor) invited to his pulpit
Rev. Dr. Archibald Maclay, who having just re-
turned from one of his journeys made as the advo-
cate of the American Bible Union, naturally took
occasion to speak of his work. This gave great
offense to some of the deacons, and so aggravated
the existing dissensions between them and the pas-
tor that the latter appealed to the church for redress.
The church, after due deliberation, referred the whole
subject to a judicious committee, with instructions to
Aveigh well the whole matter and report. Pursuant
to these instructions, the committee at a subsequent
business meeting of the church, submitted its report,
recommending that the entire Board of deacons be
requested to resign. The report thus submitted was
fully discussed in three consecutive meetings, lasting
from 8 P. M. until near midnight, the fullest lati-
tude for debate being allowed to both sides. A
division was finally called for, and the recommenda-
tion was adopted by a very large majority.
The resignations followed, and a lull ensued,
during which six brethren were selected to serve the
church until a new election should be held.
At the election which followed shortly, six breth-
ren were chosen to serve as deacons in three classes,
in the same manner as trustees are elected : two to
serve one year, two to serve two years, and two to
serve three years. After that, two were to go out
or be re-elected every third year. This, I think, is
the first instance, in this city at least, of a deacon
being chosen for a limited time. Heretofore such
elections were for life.
This action caused something like a hue and cry,
even outside of the Norfolk Street Church. Many
persons thought and said that this innovation would
prove disastrous, cause bickerings, electioneering,
and all sorts of evil. On the contrary, the experi-
DEACON CHARLES T. GOODWIN.
THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH 89
ence of forty-five years shows the happiest results.
The deacons first chosen under the new rule were
Charles T. Goodwin and George H. Hansell, Thomas
Holman and J. P. Bliven, M. d., Sandy Higgins and
Daniel Brown. Lots were drawn, and Charles T.
Goodwin, of the old Board, and George H. Hansell,
elected for the first time, drew the short terra.
These two brethren were re-elected the following
year and every third year thereafter, until Deacon
Goodwin's death in 1884. George H. Hansell is
still in office. During the past forty-five years no
changes have been made except those necessitated
by death, removal, or voluntary resignation. There
have been but two instances of the latter sort. Since
the election of the first Board under this rule, the
deacons^ chairs have been filled successively by
Thomas Warren, J. F. Jamieson, John C. Baxter,
E. F. Welles, Albert Smith, J. L. Jones, James D.
Eeid, B. F. Judson, J. F. Comey, L. M. Lawson,
George H. Andrews, H. W. Fish, W. T. Pell, Wm.
H. Bayne, and J. W. Gilbough. Brethren Jamieson,
Warren, Baxter, Jones, Holman, Andrews, Judson,
and Gilbough have died, and James D. Reid has
removed to Scotland. The present deacons are :
George H. Hansell, Horace W. Fish, John F. Co-
mey, Walter T. Pell, L. M. Lawson, William H.
Bayne, T. O. Conant, and E. H. Paddock.
After the severe tribulations recorded above, the
church had comparative peace for a time, but dis-
turbing elements were still at work within, and these
were fomented from without, by some who, while
bitterly antagonistic to the pastor and the conserva-
tive members of the church, had been wise enough
to foresee the evil and hide themselves by asking
letters of dismission in time.
It is pleasant to realize that we now live in more
peaceful times, and are happy in the reflection that
no afflictions of a like character have visited our
beloved church in the last thirty-five years, and
happier still in the indication that none await us in
The years 1853 and 1854 were distinguished by
a gracious outpouring of the Holy Spirit, when about
one hundred and forty were converted, baptized, and
united with the church, and twenty- four were re-
ceived by letter, so that the church gained more in
those years than it lost by those who went out the
previous year. There were constant additions by
baptism and letter, but the years 1857 and 1858
were especially marked by divine blessing. During
those years Doctor Armitage was frequently assisted
by visiting ministers and evangelists. Rev. Lewis
Raymond spent a number of weeks with the church,
and his preaching was blessed to the conversion of
many, including several children of the officers of
The congregations continued large, and the preach-
ing of the pastor was still listened to by delighted
audiences ; but the neighborhood was rapidly chang-
ing, the inhabitants were moving away, some to
THE NOKFOLK STREET CHURCH 91
Brooklyn, Williamsburg, and even to more remote
parts of Long Island, while many others changed
their residences to the upper part of New York
City. Among the latter were numbers from our
own church and congregation.
THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH (CONTINUED)
IN 1858 the church began seriously to contem-
plate a change of location, and in 1859 it ap-
pointed an afternoon service for the benefit of the
up-town residents. The first services were held in
a hall on the corner of Broadway and Thirty-fourth
Street, which soon proved too small, and a large one
was secured on the corner of Thirty-ninth Street,
where large and continually increasing congregations
assembled. About this time forty-three persons from
the disbanded Central Park Baptist Church were re-
ceived into our fellowship, and on June 29, 1859, the
church resolved to remove to the upper part of the
city, and appointed Charles T. Goodwin, Samuel
Barstow, George H. Hansell, Benjamin Reynolds,
William M. Waterbury, Thomas Holman, Thomas
Warren, C. C. Pinckney, and Henry L. Slote, to-
gether with the pastor, a committee to select a suita-
ble location for a new church. Of this committe,
only Henry L. Slote and George H. Hansell are
living; but John E. Thompson, who was then
assistant clerk, is now clerk of the Fifth Avenue
In October, 1859, this committee presented its
THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH 93
report, recommending the purchase of three lots on
the west side of Fifth Avenue, next below the
corner of Forty-sixth Street, but not including the
corner lot, which the church has never owned, and
two lots on AVest Forty-sixth Street, one hundred
feet west of the corner, forming an L with the
avenue lots. The intention was to erect a church
edifice on Fifth Avenue, one hundred and fifteen
feet deep, and a chapel on Forty-sixth Street, thirty-
five feet Avide, using the space, fifteen by twenty-
five feet, at the rear of the corner lot as a lobby
through which to enter the main audience-room of
the chapel. At this time the BulPs Head Cattle
Market was nearly opposite the newly purchased
lots, and Fifth Avenue was unpaved above Fortieth
Street, so that those who came from downtown or
across town, were forced to pick their way over
loose planks, or wade through the mud as best they
could. But these were trifles to a people who were
in earnest. Immediately after the adoption of the
report of the committee, the lecture room was com-
menced, and in May, 1860, was opened for public
worship, Eev. William Hague preaching the dedi-
catory sermon. In the meantime, the property in
JN'orfolk Street had been sold, and after all the obliga-
tions resting on the corporation had been discharged,
the church had two thousand eight hundred dollars
with which to commence the new enterprise. No-
wise daunted at the magnitude of the under-
taking, the brethren went right forward, and doubt-
less would have carried out the original plan had
not the disastrous Civil War broken out in 1861.
Previous to this all had promised well, but just as
the church was purposing to ^^ arise and build/^ this
terrible calamity overtook the country, and in the
financial troubles and depression which immediately
followed, many of those through whom the church
hoped to prosecute the work had most of their
means swept away, and eventually the Fifth Avenue
lots had to be sold. A further trial followed in the
illness and absence of the pastor, on whose usually
robust health constant labor and intense anxiety
produced such a strain that for eight months during
the winter of 1862-3, he was obliged to seek restora-
tion to health by means of an ocean trip and a season
of rest among kindred and friends in his native land.
During his absence the church was privileged with
the ministrations of Rev. J. W. Bonham, whose
genial, kindly manner and acceptable pulpit labors
are still remembered with pleasure, although he has
since connected himself with another denomination.
After Doctor Armitage returned from Europe in
the spring of 1863, he preached with much power
and success, and the church took courage ; but as
there was no longer any hope of recovering the
Fifth Avenue lots, it was decided to purchase two
additional lots on Forty-sixth Street. The pur-
chase was made in 1864, thus securing the plot, one
hundred feet square, on which the church edifice,
lecture room, and parsonage now stand.
THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH 95
Change of Name. In 1860, the church having
at that time no doubt of its ability to carry out its
original plans, having asked and obtained permission
from the Supreme Court of New York State, assumed
the corporate name of The Fifth Avenue Baptist
Church. Although, as the church is at present
located, the name is a misnomer, it has yet been re-
tained, because its deeds and other legal papers had
been made and executed in that name, and could not
be changed without great inconvenience and ex-
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH
THE present edifice occupied by this church was
completed in June, 1865, and dedicatory serv-
ices were held June 18. A parsonage was erected
in 1867. While the main building was in process
of erection the Madison Avenue Baptist Church
generously tendered the use of their house for an
afternoon service on Sundays, free of charge. The
offer was gratefully accepted, and this proved a
turning-point in the history of our church. At one
of these services Mr. E. A. Coray, a large-hearted,
w^ealthy Baptist from Scranton, Pa., was providen-
tially present, and after hearing Doctor Armitage's
sermon, pledged three thousand dollars for our new
church edifice. Thus aided, we went forward, and
after years of toil our heavenly Father crowned our
efforts. In 1866, the twenty-fifth anniversary of
our existence as a church, we enjoyed a reunion of
friends who came from near and far.
In 1868 we experienced a gracious revival, when
the pastor was assisted by Rev. A. B. Earle, resulting
in the conversion of from sixty to seventy persons,
making, together with those received by letter, an
addition of over one hundred during the year.
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 97
In March, 1871, a memorial service was held to
give expression of our gratitude to God for permit-
ting us to see the thirtieth anniversary of our church
life, and in 1873 we were privileged to celebrate the
twenty-fifth anniversary of our pastor's settlement
among us. All these were occasions of great joy,
and afforded significant proof of the affectionate
tenacity that bound together pastor and people, and
of the unalterable affection of Christian hearts, by
the re-assembling in the old church home of num-
bers of those whose circumstances had compelled
or induced them to locate in distant parts of our
But it was in 1878, on the occurrence of the
thirtieth anniversary of Doctor Armitage's pastorate,
that the church found occasion to realize more than
ever before the freeness and fullness of that divine
superintendence that had guided us all these years,
and through toil and suffering and perplexity, had
at last " brought us forth into a broad and generous
place,^' where for the first time in all these years we
could worship in our own church edifice free of debt.
In the achievement of this we were greatly aided by
an active Board of trustees, and especially by the
practical knowledge and constant supervision of Mr.
Warren Beman, one of their number.
It was then determined to give some public ex-
pression of our gratitude and joy, and a committee
was appointed to arrange an order of exercises and
issue invitations to as many of our former members
as could be found, to be present on the occasion.
The committee reported, recommending that the ap-
proaching anniversary should be celebrated by four
public services, to be held on Sunday, June 9, 1878,
and suggesting an order of exercises. The report
was adopted and the recommendation was carried
out as follows :
Thirtieth anniversary of Doctor Armitage's pastorate
in the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, held June 9, 1878.
Morning services, Historical, George H. Hansell, pre-
Noon services. Social, Charles T. Goodwin, presiding.
Afternoon services, Financial, George H. Andrews,
Evening services. Thanksgiving, Benjamin F. Judson,
The proper time for this celebration should have been
July 1, but as the pastor was expecting to be in Europe
at that time the services anticipated the date.
The order of the morning exercises was as follows :
1. Voluntary and quartette.
2. Invocatory prayer, by the pastor.
3. Reading of the forty-seventh and forty-eighth
4. The Te Deum, followed with prayer by Charles T.
5. Address of welcome, by the chairman, George H.
Hansell, which is published by request.
Beloved Friends : We are assembled for the worship
of God this morning under circumstances of peculiar in-
terest, and I feel that my brethren have conferred on me
an honor and a privilege in that I am permitted to
represent, for the time being, both the church and the
pastor, and to speak to you in their behalf a word of
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 99
welcome and of cheer. And I do this with special glad-
ness because I see before me faces that I have not had
the pleasure of greeting for many years ; and because I
take your presence to witness that years of separation
have not been years of estrangement. Yet no thought-
ful person can stand in a position such as I occupy and
look backward over a period of thirty years without
mingled emotions. Busy memory will crowd his mind
with recollections, and his will have been a most unusual
life if some of those recollections are not tinged with sad-
ness. On the other hand, his will have been an unworthy
life, his a cold and thankless heart, to whom the retro-
spect does not recall instances without number of tem-
poral and spiritual blessings ; of fears happily dissipated ;
of dangers safely passed ; of great trials possibly, but of
greater deliverances, affording cumulative proof of the
faithfulness of our God, and his tender mercies to all who
And that which has been true in the experience of
the individual Christian, has been, and is equally, true,
not only of the church universal — the whole body of
Christ — but of each particular church which, as a vine of
the Lord's planting, has honestly striven to grow and bear
fruit to the glory of the Great Husbandman who should
ever be honored as the ''dresser of the vine," as well as
the ' ' owner of the vineyard. ' ' Surely no church of Christ
has greater cause for gratitude and praise than this
church has this morning ! True, we remember loved
ones who have passed away, faithful fellow-laborers and
honored standard-bearers who have fallen by our side, but
we rejoice that they fell with the "harness " on, and we
cherish their memory as examples of noble lives, illus-
trative of high purposes for the "kingdom of God," which
if not fully attained, were at least consistently prosecuted,
until the Master said, "It is enough." If redeemed
spirits can look down from their bhssful abode to the
100 ' REMINISCENCES
scenes of their earthly toils, these are not the least inter-
ested witnesses of our joy, as we meet this morning, in a
house free from debt, to give thanks for an unbroken
pastoral relation of thirty years, and a church history of
thirty-seven years — a pastorate full of toil and abound-
ing in incident, but for more than a quarter of a century
unruffled by dissensions and unmarred by strife, with no
difficulties to be adjusted, no flesh-wounds to be healed,
and not a single heart-burning to be deplored, and a
church history singularly marked by divine favor and
blessing, and that during these years has had but two
pastors, and has been pastorless less than forty-eight
By the report that will be laid before you this after-
noon it will be seen that he whom we recognize as the
Author of all spiritual blessings has been the bestower of
all our temporal prosperity, and that he had bestowed it
abundantly. Thus, beloved friends, we welcome you to
a whole day of jubilee and praise, and ask you to rejoice
with us :
First. That this beloved pastor, who came to us thirty
years ago in the warm glow of early manhood, with love
that none could doubt, and zeal that none could fail to
admire, but with a slender physique, which some of us
thought little fitted to sustain the enormous strain which
his mental characteristics clearly indicated would be laid
upon it, and with a hectic flush upon his cheek that seemed
still more alarming, is not only with us still, but preaches
to us, from Sabbath to Sabbath, sermons that give evi-
dence of more vigorous health and more mental power,
combined with larger accumulations of knowledge and a
richer experience, than he ever possessed.
Second. That this beautiful meeting-house in which
we worship is unencumbered by debt.
Third. That although we passed through many and
bitter trials in the early part of our church life, yet for
HON. GEORGE H. ANDREWS.
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 101
the last twenty years we have had internal peace, and
through the grace of our heavenly Father, a large meas-
ure of external prosperity, both spiritual and temporal,
for all of which we have deemed this a suitable occasion
to give public thanks.
After the above address of welcome, Deacon
Hansell read the paper he had been requested to
prepare, showing the history and progress of the
church during the previous thirty years, the facts
and incidents of which have been spread over the
foregoing pages. An able and interesting anniver-
sary sermon was then delivered by the pastor, and
the morning services closed with the doxology and
The social meeting was held in the lecture room
at 1 p. M., Deacon Goodwin presiding. A collation
was served and many impromptu speeches were
In the afternoon a large assembly gathered in the
main audience room, Deacon George H. Andrews
presiding. After devotional exercises, a report
from the sinking fund committee was presented by
Messrs. Wm. Kemp and Wm. Rockefeller, of the
Board of trustees, showing that the mortgages had
been canceled and that the church was entirely free
from debt. The presentation of this report was
followed by cheery addresses from Deacon Charles
T. Goodwin, president of the Board of trustees, and
from Messrs. Mason, Reid, Comey, Jones, and Jud-
son, and addresses of congratulation by Rev. Drs.
Thomas D. Anderson, S. D. Burchard, and J. P.
Newman. After singing a hymn the meeting was
closed with the benediction.
Evening session, thanksgiving, Deacon B. F.
Judson presiding. A very large congregation as-
sembled. The exercises consisted of, 1. Voluntary,
quartette ; 2. Reading responsively the one hundred
and forty-fifth Psalm ; 3. Solo, by Mr. E. Gilbert ;
4. Prayer, by Deacon James D. Reid ; 5. Hymn,
'^ The morning light is breaking '^ ; 6, Addresses by
Rev. Drs. J. F. Elder, John Hall, and J. Cotton
Hymn, " Blest be the tie that binds,'' was sung,
and the exercises pertaining to the thirtieth anniver-
sary of Doctor Armitage's settlement was closed with
The following named were the committees and
persons in charge.
On refreshments. Mrs. Daniel Bates, Mrs. Alonzo
Hornby, Mrs. M. A. Scribner, and Mrs. L. M.
On flowers and decorations, Mrs. R. Donnell,
Mrs. Charles Pegg, Mrs. Mary Sutton, Mrs. A. L.
Smith, Mr. George Leeds, Mr. Thomas L. Harris,
]\Ir. George Yaughan, Mr. Walter C. Root, and Mr.
W. H. Jones.
On invitations. Deacons George H. Hansell and
J. F. Comey.
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH (CONTINUED)
THE years went by and soon the church was mak-
ing preparation to celebrate the fortieth anni-
versary of Doctor Armitage's settlement as pastor
of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church. At a meet-
ing of the church and congregation held in the
chapel on Wednesday evening, January 11, 1888,
the following resolution was passed :
Whereas, Our beloved brother and pastor is now com-
pleting forty years of service in this church, and it is
most proper that this distinguished era in our church
history should be marked with an observance befitting
its dignity and importance, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Board of Trustees and the Board of
Deacons be constituted and appointed a committee of
arrangement to make suitable preparations for the ap-
propriate celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the
settlement of the pastor of this church, and that the
clerk be requested to notify the members of the com-
mittee of this action, and request the said committee to
meet at an early date to take into consideration the sub-
ject of this resolution.
In accordance with the above request, a joint
meeting of the trustees and deacons was held in the
chapel on the evening of Friday, March 16, at
which Messrs. L. M. Lawson, J. A. Bostwick, John
F. Plummer, Wm. Rockefeller, and James D. Reid,
were appointed a sub-committee, with power to make
all necessary arrangements for carrying its purpose
This sub-committee subsequently presented a pro-
gramme for religious exercises to be held in the
church edifice, on Sunday, April 22, 1888, which
was adopted and carried out, as follows :
Morning service — Deacon B. F. Judson, presid-
ing. After a delightful rendering of the hymn,
'^ Oh, for a closer walk with God,'^ by the choir —
G. Froelich, conductor and organist; Miss Jennie
Dutton, soprano; Mr. A. L. King, tenor; Mrs. E. G.
Gilmore, contralto ; Dr. Carl E. DufPt, baritone — the
services of the day were opened by the rising of
the congregation and the repetition of the Lord's
J. B. Simmons, d. d., read selections from the
The following Memorial Hymn, written for the
occasion by Samuel F. Smith, D. D., was sung :
Glory to him whose wisdom led
The children of his covenant love ;
Who fed them all with heavenly bread,
And taught and kept them from above.
From Horeb, where the law was given,
To Canaan, where they found their rest ;
God was their king, their laws from heaven,
God chose their way, their wanderings blessed.
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 105
Glory to him, unchanging, true, —
We bow, adoring, to his name, —
Who guides his flock the desert through.
His love, for evermore the same.
Glory to him whose hand has kept
Our pastor through his forty years,
While angel-benisons round him swept,
And crowned with joy his toils and tears.
From Nebo let his raptured eyes
The promised land of glory see ;
Then bid him from his Pisgah rise,
To dwell forever, Lord, with thee.
After responsive Scripture readings, prayer was
oifered by Edward Bright, d. d.
Mr. Judson then arose, and turning to Doctor
Armitage, with much feeling said :
We are here to-day, my beloved pastor, to celebrate
the fortieth year of your settlement with us. Forty
years, pastor, have we known each other. Thirty-seven
years have we been in church-fellowship together. What
a forty years it has been ! It has been forty years of
hard work, forty years of faithful work, and forty years
of fruitful work ; and our hearts to-day are just as warm,
and our arms as open to receive and love you, as ever.
Now (turning to the congregation, Mr. Judson said),
we shall have the pleasure of listening to Doctor Armi-
tage, our pastor, whom we honor and love, as he glances
over his forty years of service with us.
Before commencing his discourse Doctor Armi-
tage spoke as follows :
I expect to take ship next Saturday morning in the
"Umbria, " for Liverpool, to be absent during the sum-
mer, expecting to return in October, and as I shall need
Thursday and Friday for making all the little prepara-
tions incident to such an absence, I invite the church
and congregation to meet on Wednesday night for social
interview, hand-shaking, and adieus. In connection with
that meeting I wish to submit a communication to the
church and congregation that shall bear largely upon
your future interests as a people. Next Lord's Day
morning, the Rev. W. C. Bitting, pastor of the church
at Harlem, will preach, and in the evening, the Eev.
Henry M. Sanders, who will also have the pleasure of
administering baptism to his young niece, Mamie N.
Sanders. On the first Sunday of May, and through the
months of May and June, you will have the pleasure of
listening to the preaching of Dr. John A. Broadus, who
is one of the best preachers, the noblest of men, and the
most advanced scholars in the country.
THE HISTORICAL SERMON.
THE RETROSPECT OF FORTY YEARS.
I have thought it best this morning to give you a very
simple narrative connected with myself and my minis-
try, and will read a passage from the twenty-ninth chap-
ter of the First Book of Chronicles, found in the twenty-
sixth to the thirtieth verse, as a sort of starting-point :
Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. And the
time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years
reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in
Jerusalem. And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches,
and honor ; and Solomon his son reigned in his stead. Now the
acts of David the king, first and last, behold they are written in
the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the
prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer. With all his reign
and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel,
and over all the kingdoms of tlie countries.
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 107
This narrative is so plain that it needs no exposition,
and at the same time it is so suggestive of human Hfe in
all other spheres of long service, as well as in that of a
king, that any public man may find great profit in ap-
plying some of its statements to himself. The expression,
"The times that went over him," is full of meaning ; so
full that no man can entirely understand how the stamp
of his times forms the fabric of his character. Each man
of years looks back on those times through the atmos-
phere in which he moves. The farmer reads his life in
agriculture, the builder in architecture, the physician in
the art of healing, the merchant in commercial transac-
tions, the monarch in statesmanship, and the Christian
pastor in religious life. All experienced men see that
the old skill and toil, the things to be done and the
methods of doing them, have passed away with their
times to a new order of things. The times which are now
passing over us are so different from those of a genera-
tion gone, that the old methods which led to success now
lead to failure. Time and chance happen to all men ;
but if men sleep and dream while their times are pass-
ing, the dreamer will come to serious grief. Now and
then one meets with one of these belated souls who
wakes up much like an October wind crawling through
the pine branches at Christmas. Such men rub their
eyes and ask : "What is the cause that the former days
were better than these?" Right here inspiration stops
them with this protest : "Thou dost not inquire wisely
concerning this." As in the landscape, distance softens
every object while close contact with it dissolves its at-
tractions, so it is in reviewing past times. He who gazes
with admiration on the spreading rural scene cools his
rapture when brought into close contact therewith. The
picturesque hamlet which enraptured him from a far-off
eminence, as its villas dotted mountain and slope and
enwreathed their roof-trees in smoke from the hearth, is
disenchanted ; for distance hid all squalor and disorder
in the aspects of space. So, when we look back into
times past, we forget the rough and the jagged in the
softened and mellowed retrospect ; so that we cease to
be fair judges of all the defects and inequalities, the as-
perities and inconsistencies which made the past repul-
sive. Very likely, indeed, in some cases, the rugged and
unseemly may add to the general effect of bygones.
Then the indistinctness of the misshapen, instead of of-
fending the eye, throws a golden halo about the vanish-
ing memory, especially if we have been sharers in the
motives and contests of those times. The intrigues and
jealousies of a man's present day affect his judgment
against a sound decision on what is far back in his own
life, until he becomes disgusted with his present sur-
roundings ; and so he concludes that the present are de-
generate times, and that the past were better. These
pathetic lamentations paint the world as changed for
the worse, and are apt to foster conceit in the old and
to quench the confidence of hope in the young, till they
come to believe in their own sad misfortune that they
were born altogether too late, and so to disqualify them
to serve the "times which are to pass over " them.
David gained more renown than any crowned head
ever did. Doctor Delaney says of him that he was, *' By
birth a peasant, by merit a prince. In youth a hero, in
manhood a monarch, and in age a saint." "First and
last," as a Christian minister, the only things that I
claim in common with this great and godly monarch are,
a parentage and birth as lowly as his, a term of service
running through quite as many years, and a debt of love
to the times which have gone over me.
BIRTHPLACE AND FAMILY.
Your pastor was born at Pontefract, in the West
Riding of York, England. This town is of great antiquity.
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 109
According to Camden, it existed before the Roman con-
quest, and the Romans changed the name to Pontefract.
For six hundred years its wonderful castle was the pride
and terror of that part of the kingdom. It was built in
A. D. 1069. Richard II. was a prisoner within its walls
and died there. It was here that the Duke of Gloucester
(afterward Richard III.) slew the Earl Rivers, Lord Grey,
Sir Thomas Vaughan, and Sir Richard Hant. In the
time of the Saxons it was called Kirkly, and it was one
of the first places in England in which Christianity was
preached. Hard by the frowning ruin of the old fortress
lies the sacred dust of my precious mother. The only
memory that I have of her is a dreamy recollection of
her person, and the fact that I took the hand of my
father and followed six men, who carried her on their
shoulders past the castle gate, to her grave, where she
has slumbered more than sixty years. . . My grand-
parents were Wesleyans, and delighted in telling how
intimate they were with John Wesley, who had often
preached to them, notably in 1790, when he opened their
new chapel at Northgate. My mother became a mem-
ber of the society there, and m}^ grandmother often led
me to this chapel after my mother was dead. Many a
time — with a child's eyes — I have looked up to that
strange, high old pulpit, in which Wesley preached, and
wondered whether it would ever be my lot to stand in
such a place. This inquiry was raised because I was
constantly told by the family that when my mother was
dying, she said: ''Bring my firstborn child to me and
let me consecrate him to Christ, before I enter into my
Master's glory." It is strange that I can recollect her
funeral, but not this scene of the deathbed. I was always
solemnly told that she laid her hand upon my head, as
if in ordination, and said : "My Saviour, I leave my boy
with thee, to be made a minister of the gospel." She
then called for her Bible, which had been presented to
her when a child from a legacy by Lord Wharton. This
she delivered to her mother, with the charge that it was
to be sacredly kept and given to me when I should be-
come a Christian and a minister. This was her only
legacy excepting her prayers, and when I preached my
first sermon at Attercliffe Common, near Sheffield, in
1835, at a little more than fifteen years of age, the text
was taken from this book, Matt. 11 : 28 : "Come unto
me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give
you rest." Three persons were brought to Christ under
that sermon, and the Rev. Samuel Beedle, of Hull, Mass.,
who still survives, was present and heard it preached.
EARLY YEARS IN THE MINISTRY.
On the fifth of July, 1838, I sailed from Hull for New
York, in the barque **Wolga," and landed here on Sep-
tember third, having had a very pleasant passage of sixty
days. For ten years, from 1838 to 1848, I labored in the
Methodist ministry. These years I must pass by here,
and my reasons for becoming a Baptist at the end of that
time. At the latter of these dates I was pastor of the
Washington Street Methodist Church, in Albany, and
taking a regular dismission on the first of June, was
baptized by Bartholomew T. Welch, d. d., on June 4,
1848. The first of the New York churches that I visited
with a view to the pastorate, was the Norfolk Street.
This visit was made on the eleventh of June, when I
preached three sermons in the first meeting-house owned
by this church, at the corner of Broome and Norfolk
Streets. On June 12, the day after I had preached in
that meeting-house, the building was burned to the
ground. I therefore preached the last three sermons
that were preached in your first meeting-house.
THE CALL TO NEW^ YORK.
On the tenth of June, 1848, the church met for busi-
ness in the meeting-house of the Stanton Street Church.
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 111
Mr. Benedict, the enfeebled pastor, presided that evening
for the last time, and affectionately pressed upon his
people the need of relieving him from his pastoral care,
and begged that he might be permitted to name his suc-
cessor. His request was granted, and the same evening
your present pastor was chosen to stand in his place. ^
At the close of the sermon Doctor Armitage gave
the hand of church-fellowship to four persons whom
he had recently baptized, and after the rendering of
the anthem, "Sing Hallelujah/^ by the choir, the
benediction was pronounced by Rev. Henry S. Day.
Afternoon services — Sunday-school and denom-
inational reunion, J. A. Bostwick, president of the
Board of Trustees, presiding.
At three o'clock the house was again full, with
many visitors from other churches. Some important
changes were apparent. There had been placed in
front of the platform a fine bronze bust of Doctor
Armitage, the work of Miss Louise Lawson, of New
York (since passed to her rest), which was to be
presented to the pastor on behalf of Deacon L. M.
Lawson and Mrs. Lawson, the donors. The bust
was wreathed with flowers, and the likeness was
The exercises of the afternoon were opened by
singing the well-known hymn beginning : " How
sweet and heavenly is the sight.'' After prayer, by
the senior deacon of the church, Mr. Geo. H. Han-
^ Doctor Armitage' s acceptance of this call and its condi-
tions, have already been recorded.
sell, followed the anthem, '^ We praise thee, O God,'^
sung by the choir.
Mr. Bostwick, in a few appropriate words of in-
troduction, announced that John F. Plummer, Esq.,
member of the Board of Trustees, w^ould deliver the
address of welcome, and would also present the
bronze bust of Doctor Armitage, the gift of Mr. and
Mr. Plummer then said in part :
Mr. Chairman, Brothers, Sisters, and Friends. — We
are here to-day to speak kind words to our beloved pas-
tor, and to join in all these exercises as an expression of
our sense of the grandness of his work, and of our recog-
nition of the nobility of his character. In the presence
of this great community during the past forty eventful
years Doctor Armitage has, with mingled toil and trial,
completed a record which commands our admiration,
gratitude, and love. We are here to-day to express that
gratitude and give loving testimony of our common
esteem for him as pastor and friend.
It is no easy task, in these busy days, to value aright
the character which one makes in his or her life ; but
with the testimony of these forty years before us, where
we can look at it in the clear light of its public record,
where we can properly estimate the value of its lessons
and the nature of its influences, we feel that in this case,
at least, it is well rounded and complete. . . To have
been able, therefore, to stand, as Doctor Armitage has,
in one pulpit, before one people, before one community,
and so manage all the affairs which have come under his
direction, as to have the church over which he presides
to-day as pastor love him more truly than ever before,
and the community in which he has lived and made his
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 113
record, admire and honor him as they do, is a noble vic-
tory and grand example. . . My friends, it is a pleasure
to welcome you here this afternoon ; to welcome you the
friends, you the members of this church, to these memo-
rial services. I welcome the friends, who will have many
tender memories revived. I welcome the children, in
whose hearts no man had a warmer place than Doctor
Armitage. He has never been too old for even the
Mr. Plummer continued, in substance, as follows :
On behalf of two of our beloved members. Deacon L.
M. Lawson and his good wife, I present to Doctor Ar-
mitage the bust in bronze, now before me ; and I can
best do this by reading a letter addressed to J. A. Bost-
wick, Esq., Chairman, and signed L. M. Lawson and
Theodosia Thornton Lawson.
The writer of these Reminiscences regrets not
having space to insert in full the eloquent letter
which concludes thus :
While the genius of the artist has molded the noble
effigy for temporal vision, Thomas Armitage himself has
erected a monument more enduring than bronze in the
grateful hearts of his people, which shall tell to coming
time the influence of his love and power.
In reply to the address of presentation, Doctor
Armitage then said :
Brother Moderator. — Bronze, as a metal, is an ad-
mixture of tin and copper and is extremely ancient. I
suppose that the brass of the New Testament was a spe-
cies of bronze, and it is very likely that that of the Old
Testament was also. In the history of arts we have the
three ages. First, that of stone, so that the implements
of labor and warfare were probably of stone in the earliest
history of man. Then came the age of bronze, and after
that the age of iron. But human nature is older than
bronze. Love lived in the human bosom before the
amalgam of tin and copper entered the human brain,
and although bronze is the most durable of all the metals
excepting gold, bronze will disappear, its elements will
dissolve, its existence will be forgotten, while love will
still bind man to man and to the heart of the living God,
and live through all the coming years.
I thank my dear brother and sister for this very valu-
able present, and I prize it the more and receive it with
the greater cheerfulness in behalf of my wife and chil-
dren, because it is the work of a woman — of a gentle
Christian lady. I know her well. Her grandfather was
a minister of the Lord Jesus, and she molded that bronze
from my face because she loved me as a Christian pastor.
I think she did her work well.
Rev. Dr. Edward Judson, pastor of the Berean
Church, was then introduced by Mr. Bostwick, and
spoke as follows in substance :
Mr. President, Brothers, and Sisters. — I esteem it a
very great privilege to share in commemorating with
music and flowers and gladness an interchange of Chris-
tian thought the fortieth anniversary of Doctor Armi-
tage's pastorate. My memory can scarcely stretch over
forty years. Forty years ago I was a puny little boy in
Burma. My father was just completing nearly forty
years of his missionary career, while Doctor Armitage
was beginning that ministerial life which has flowed on
in this great city through all these years like a deep be-
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 115
I believe in occasions of this kind. Doctor Hoge, of
Richmond, lately preached a sermon from the text,
"Say so," taken from the one hundred and seventh
Psalm, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so." It
taught the duty of saying so. I shall never forget some
lines written, I think, by Walter Savage Landor, in which
a wife apostrophizes her husband as follows :
Carve not upon a stone when I am dead,
The praises which remorseful mourners give
To women's graves a tardy recompense ;
But speak them while I live.
Forget me when I die : the violets above my rest
Will blossom just as blue,
Nor miss thy tears ; e'en Nature's self forgets ;
But while I live be true.
During my acquaintance w^ith Doctor Armitage, I have
learned to admire his rich learning. . . I never heard
him, either in private conversation or in the pulpit, use
other than pure, classical English. . . Again, I have
learned in my acquaintance with him, to appreciate also
his crystallized simplicit3^ I never heard him make a
statement in private discourse, or on the platform, or in
the pulpit, that was not crystalline in its lucidity.
The truth may be a deep well, but you can see to the
bottom of it. . . Again, I have always loved Doctor Ar-
mitage because of his guilelessness. I do not know a
man about whom it could be more truly said that he was
straight grained, about whom there was nothing crooked
or sly. . . The nearer you come to Doctor Armitage,
and the better you know him, the more you find this
trait of guilelessness, of solid sincerity, that he was the
same all the way through.
The following hymn, contributed by a young lady
in Boston, and sent to the superintendent of the Sun-
day-school, Dr. J. H. Gunning, was then sung :
116 REMIN ISCENCES
We come, dear Lord, with joyful heart ;
Glad dawns the watched-for day ;
And turning from earth's cares apart,
We grateful homage pay.
From out thine hand all blessings fall,
Love, honor, length of days ;
Pastor and people, one and all,
Raise now glad notes of praise.
For him, our leader, teacher, friend,
Our shepherd, given of thee,
Our prayers shall ever reascend
In ceaseless symphony.
For two-score years the bread of life
His tireless hand has fed,
And dauntless 'mid earth's jostling strife,
In heavenly pathways led.
His monument be saved souls,
By word or printed page ;
Heaven's mystic book of life enrolls
Its countless heritage.
Now grant, dear Lord, our heart's desire,
Bend near us while we pray ;
Refresh, reward, uphold, inspire,
Cheer all his upward way.
Long may his cherished presence lend
Its comfort and its grace ;
Rich harvest seasons may he spend
In his accustomed place ;
And when the golden gates unfold,
Safe on that heavenly shore ;
Crown him, 'mid glories never told,
Not lost, but gone before.
E. S. MacArthur, d. d., pastor of Calvary Church,
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHUKCH 117
was introduced by Mr. Bostwick, and spoke in his
usual eloquent and forceful style. A few brief ex-
cerpts must suffice here, as follows :
Mr. Chairman and Good Friends. — This is an occa-
sion of much more than ordinary interest, not for this
church alone, and not for the churches of our loved de-
nomination alone, but also for the churches of all denom-
inations in the city and for the city of New York as a city.
When a man completes forty years of such a pastoral life
as that of Doctor Armitage, we would be false to every
instinct of humanity, and false to every prompting of
Christianity, if we did not mark the occasion by special
thanks and by appropriate words.
Personally, I am glad to be here this afternoon.
When I came to New York eighteen years ago, one of
the first to greet me with the words of a brother and a
father, was Doctor Armitage. I have often thanked God
for words of kindness spoken then, and for his many
deeds of kindness performed since. . . I find in Doctor
Armitage something of the brilliancy of Robert Hall,
with much of the tenderness, sweetness, and simplicity
of Andrew Fuller. Robert Hall was much the more
brilliant of the two. The world has long listened to his
eloquent words spoken under the shadow of the great
universities of England ; but the world has felt the throb
of Andrew Fuller's heart. Andrew Fuller also shaped
the theological thinking of England and America as
Robert Hall never did or could. Thomas Armitage is,
at times, Robert Hall in his lofty eloquence, in his bril-
liancy, in his splendor of diction. He is always Andrew
Fuller in his devoutness, sweetness, gentleness, and loy-
alty to God and his Christ.
Let me say, in the second place, that I admire Doctor
Armitage because of his loyalty to his own church and
denomination, while at the same time he is courteous
toward all other churches and denominations. There is
no contradiction between these two positions. No man,
I think, is so able to have a warm hand and loving heart
for men of other denominations as the man who is loyal
to his own.
Some time ago Mr. Spurgeon told the story of a com-
positor who was setting up a copy of the Bible, and who,
when he came to the reference to Daniel, "And Daniel
had an excellent spirit in him," set it up, "And Daniel
had an excellent spine in him." Mr. Spurgeon says the
compositor did not make much of a mistake. It cer-
tainly was true of Daniel, and if there is anything, I
think, we all need to-day as Christians and as members
of the various denominations, it is an excellent spine.
We need to know the truth and to stand erect under
every burden which its advocacy obliges us to bear,
so that we can be loyal to our distinctive beliefs with-
out ever being discourteous toward those who cherish
opposite faiths. Here sits our true friend and brother.
Doctor Crosby. What a noble Baptist he would make !
But I ought to feel kindly to the Presbyterians, for my
father and mother both started as Presbyterians. My
mother learned better after she grew older ; but my father
never did. He remained a stalwart in support of his
early training in Scotland, but he always said : "I ad-
mire the consistency of Baptists, and if I believed as they
do with reference to baptism, I would do precisely as
they do with reference to the Lord's table."
The children of the Sunday-school then sang the
anniversary hymn, written by Harry C. White, Yale,
April 10, 1888.
Now we our voices raise
To Christ our King,
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHUECH 119
In anthems of glad praise,
Grateful we sing.
Rich have thy blessings been
Through thy minister to men,
We, for his service, then
In him has lodged thy power
Children to lead ;
His pure life every hour
Scatters good seed.
On this, the festal day,
For continued care we pray.
May he have strength alway
For good to plead.
May the revolving years
New blessings show,
Guarding his life from tears
And human woe.
When comes the loving call,
Raising him from earthly thrall,
There, shall the angels, all,
Sing ''Welcome home."
Mr. Bostwick next introduced Rev. Dr. Howard
Crosby, " a man beloved by all denominations, and
by none more than by ourselves.
Doctor Crosby began as follows :
What an excellent spine Brother MacArthur's father
had ! We Presbyterians are generally rather strong in
that portion of our frame, and yet I appear here to-day
not as a Presbyterian ; for whatever my private views in
regard to Presbyterian doctrine, they are subordinate to
the word of God.
Continuing, the doctor said :
Forty years ago brings us, the older members of this
assembly, back to the memory of a very remarkable year,
that of 1848. The year when Louis Philippe ran away from
his throne ; the year in which Pius IX. was driven out of
Rome ; the year in which the emperor of Austria had to
abdicate his throne ; the year in which the late emperor
of Germany (then Prince of Prussia) was stoned in Dus-
seldorf ; the year of revolutions. Well I remember that
year, for I spent part of it in Europe, and saw three or
four of the battles that occurred during that stormy
period. It is a long time ago ; if measured not by inci-
dents of human history, but by the experience of human
souls, it is a very long time. How much good has been
done in all this time by my brother ! . . I pray that the
Lord will long continue him among us, that he may con-
tinue the work he has been doing.
C. DeW. Bridgeman, d. d., pastor of Madison
Avenue Baptist Church, was introduced. He said
in part :
Good Friends. — It would be indelicate to pour out on
Doctor Armitage all the complimentary phrases which
this occasion prompts one to utter. His joy in the serv-,
ice might be slain by the offense that would be done to
his modesty. Still, I am in most hearty accord with
what brethren have said as to the propriety of our using
great freedom of speech notwithstanding his presence,
and allowing something more than a few trickling drops
of eulogy to escape from our hearts. . . The opportu-
nity, however, which is given us to-day, is something
unusual. Forty years are commemorated — forty years
of a pastorate that still is unbroken. The fact is signifi-
cant of capacity, of faithfulness, of high Christian char-
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 121
acter ; and whilst his brethren in the ministry may mul-
tiply words to show their estimate of his worth, this
celebration itself is Doctor Armitage's best eulogy.
The hour being late, Doctor Bridgman concluded
his very interesting address, much of which is neces-
sarily omitted, in the following touching words :
May strength and grace still be given him from above
as his ministry is continued ; may your love abound
toward him whilst other years come and go, until his
ministr}^ be fulfilled, and the glory is given him which is
declared in the promise, "They that be wise shall shine
as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn
many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."
D. C. Potter, d. d., was then introduced and said :
The hour is late, and the necessity of your departure
reminds me of a Greek astronomer, who, going into the
square of Athens and staring at a great stellar chart, en-
tered into a long and tedious discourse about wandering
stars. Stern old Diogenes coming along, heard him and
said grimly : *'It is not the stars that are wandering, it
is your audience."
. Who is there who would not be glad to stand on this
platform and place a wreath on that brow ? (Pointing to
the bronze bust.) I have looked all around among these
beautiful decorations hoping that I might discover some-
where a chain of leaves to put there. It was the custom
of those who went to the old games to carry laurel and
bay wreaths for the victors, and after the games were
completed, almost to smother them as they threw them
on one after the other. Who is there who would not be
glad to throw a laurel wreath, if he could, upon the
brow of Thomas Armitage ?
It had been arranged for some more distinct serv-
ices on the part of the Sunday-school and an address
by Dr. J. H. Gunning, superintendent, but they were
unwillingly given up because of the limited time and
the number of speakers.
Evening services — Keunion of church and con-
gregation, John F. Plummer, Esq., presiding.
An audience packing the house in every part was
again present, with a number of distinguished friends
of Doctor Armitage on the platform.
The chairman :
The time has arrived for us to commence the closing
services of this most delightful day. Permit me to ex-
plain why I am here before you in the place of Mr. Wm.
Rockefeller, whose name is on the programme to preside
this evening. Mr. Rockefeller is suffering from indispo-
sition and is unable to speak, and has asked me to take
his place. I reluctantly do so, knowing the pleasure it
would have been to you all to have heard from one of
whom it can be said, no more loyal friend to this church
and to his pastor lives.
Music, ^^ There is a green hill ^^ — Somerset ;
prayer, by Mr. James D. Reid.
Mr. Plummer then said :
Our exercises this morning were under the care and
direction of officers of the church, and Doctor Armitage
gave us a most instructive and interesting narrative of
his forty years' pastorate, and of its historical connection
with this city.
This afternoon the time was occupied by the offerings
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 123
of his brother pastors, who laid willing tributes of love
and affection at his feet.
You will see by the programme of the evening that it
is to be a church and congregational reunion, and much
of the time will be given to personal reminiscences.
It is now my pleasure to introduce to you Deacon L.
M. Lawson, who will address you with words of welcome.
After extending a cordial welcome to the audience,
and thanking the ladies especially for their presence
and their co-operation in all that had given interest
to these anniversary exercises, Mr. Lawson continued
in part as follows :
Anniversaries are usual events ; so usual, that they
come to all existence that is marked by birth, and
growth, and decay. . . This anniversary is to this church
yet a youthful fete, for though the interval of time be-
tween 1848 and the present is a long period in the life
of any one of us, it is a short time in the existence of a
great organization. Of all the great sovereigns who ruled
the nations of the world at the time when Doctor Armi-
tage entered the ministry, not one of them remains save
her most gracious majesty, the queen of his native isle.
In our own land the year 1848 marked the close of the
Mexican War, and the addition to the territory of the
Union of a region as vast as all that which lies between
the Mississippi River and the Atlantic Ocean . . . and
our country's banners " dip their fringes in the Western
sea," while the vast and busy region once known as the
American desert, is now the seat of civilization and
wealth, and is traversed by railway carriages at the speed
of thirty miles an hour. I need hardly speak of the won-
derful growth of the Baptist denomination and the suc-
cess of its great enterprises, nor here and now, of the
foremost part taken therein by our pastor. To this in-
dividual church he has been all that grace and power
and zeal could bestow, the cheerful guide to age in its
extremity, the hopeful prop of manhood in adversity, the
joyful counselor of youth in its fairest hope, and even
Children followed with endearing wile,
And plucked his gown to share the good man's smile.
At the conclusion of Mr. Lawson's address, the
chairman introduced D. Henry Miller, D. D., and
Messrs. John D. Kockefeller, Charles L. Colby, L.
H. Niles, J. F. Comey, and Walter T. Pell. Want
of space forbids more than the following brief ex-
tracts from these interesting addresses.
Doctor Miller said in part ;
I wanted to be here to show my sympathy with my
brother and my rejoicing in the day and the occasion
and all that is involved in it. I was reminded this after-
noon of a minister in the vicinity of Boston, who took
for his text, ''None of these things move me." He said
he would divide his text under the three heads following :
First, ''Some things should move us," and secondly,
"Some things should not move us," and thirdly, "We
should move some things." I think you have brought
us to just the spot and the place where some things are
being moved : aflfections, precious memories, the recol-
lections of other days, the associations of seasons gone,
and with men loved and honored. . . You have had a
grand man here. You cannot say too much of him.
You cannot do too much for him. We have felt his
power in the Associations, in the churches, in the coun-
cils, and in the ministry ; and when there has come a
time when special counsel was needed, a man to stand in
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 125
the gap, to do us honor as well as himself and his Master,
Doctor Armitage was the man.
Mr. Rockefeller said of Doctor Armitage :
I have had the pleasure of his acquaintance for nearly
twenty years. I have valued that friendship very highly.
It is a pleasant thing as I look back over these years, for
me to feel that I have always been getting good from
him, and never harm.
Mr. Colby spoke in substance as follows :
A business man tests everything and measures every-
thing. That is the very essence of business. If he is
going to deal with a man, he w^ants to get that man's
measure. He sizes him so as to know just how big he is.
If he has officers or clerks under him, he wants to know
just how far and what departments he can trust to
their ability and their integrity. He w^ants to know just
how big a hole each man can fill. When he has a doctor,
or a lawyer, or a minister, he measures him in the same
way. He tests him with the test that he applies to other
things. One of the first things that a business man wants
to know about those w^ho are with him is, do they aim
for results? Sometimes I hear a man preach an eloquent
and beautiful sermon, and I go out of the door and hear
the remarks that are made. ''Oh, what an eloquent
man he is ; what a beautiful sermon we have had to-day ;
how apt those quotations were ; I do not believe that
there is another man in the city who draws so easily
and fills the pews so well as he." But I do not hear a
single man say, ''I declare, I am not so good a man as
T thought I was. I have been stirred this morning.
I wdll have to turn around and face the other w^ay and
do better." On another occasion, after Avhat many have
called an ordinary sermon, I hear a man say, ' ' I believe
I am a sinner. I never thought I was such before." I
recognized at once the difference between the preachers.
One man is preaching for a reputation, preaching to
draw an audience, the other for results. If a party of
gentlemen in Wall Street should send a man to Europe
to sell securities, and when he reached there he enter-
tained his customers with a beautiful discourse about
the matters under consideration, and they should, as
they parted, only say, "He is a most wonderful and
brilliant talker," the men who sent him over would at
once order him home and would tell him that that was
not what he was sent to do. So, the man in the pulpit
is there for a purpose. Does he aim to accomplish it?
When we measure Doctor Armitage by the results of
his preaching, we see what he has worked and aimed
for. Count up the children that he has led to that Shep-
herd who has taken them in his arms. Count up the
young men who have gone out from his church into
every part of our land, and wherever they are, are stand-
ing up for that Saviour whom Doctor Armitage taught
them to love. Count up the young, strong men, who
everywhere to-day are standing in the front ranks, hold-
ing the banner of the cross, and who tell you that they
have been brought there through his kind aid. Count
up the older men who to-day stand about him, with their
hearts as warm as ever, and who believe in the Saviour
and Redeemer of men. Count them up and you will
find a host.
Many of us have been to church when ministers, gen-
erally young, have talked to us about advanced thought ;
of something which they think nobody else ever thought
of. They have got ahead of the times. Old mistakes,
they have said, must be rectified ; that the old doctrines
are worn out, and that they have new ways and new
methods to propose.
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 127
If any have ever come to Doctor Armitage expect-
ing to hear about any new doctrine, some new way to
everlasting life, they have gone away disappointed. They
have come here and heard the same old story of the
cross, the one way of salvation direct from Calvary to the
Eternal City. He has kept on that track as steadily as
Uie locomotive on the rail. When the engine under-
takes to pull across lots, it goes into the ditch, and the
preacher who tries a newer or a shorter way than by the
good old gospel track, is sure to fail. The doctor has
kept on the track.
But an engine is useless without fire. It may be a
beautiful thing, it may be perfect in all its parts, but it
is useless and helpless as a clod of clay without fire. In
a great factory all is silent and still. There is not a loom
at work, not a wheel turning, not a shaft in motion.
There is no fire in the box. But light that fire and start
the steam and the whole machinery will be alive with
motion. So there are ministers, well educated, thor-
oughly trained, able men, great scholars, but they stir
nobody, because they have no fire. Doctor Armitage,
from first to last, not only has had the fire burning in
his own heart, but he has fired up everybody else. I be-
lieve but little can be accomplished in this world without
enthusiasm, without soul, without fire.
Doctor Armitage has had a magnificent career of forty
years. His work has been grand. We hope it may be
grander still. We hope also that when that work is over,
his deeds will live long after he is gone.
At the request of the chairman, Mr. King, the
tenor of the church choir, sang, with much effect,
" Come unto me/^
The chairman said : " We are unfortunate in not
having with us Mr. George N. Curtis and Mr. D.
W. Manwaring, from whom remarks were expected,
but who are necessarily absent/^ Mr. Niles spoke
at some length, concluding with :
In 1868 or 1869 I became identified with this church,
and remained with it twelve years. My relations were
very delightful, and I recall them w'ith great pleasure.
Doctor Armitage endeared himself to me and my family,
and I rejoice to be here to-night to do him honor.
Deacon J. F. Comey said :
I have loved some few public men ; but outside of
family ties, I never loved any man as I love Doctor
Armitage. Twenty years ago I united with this church.
... I have never known Doctor Armitage in all these
years to tremble in uttering his convictions. Such
teachings have been an inspiration to me many a time.
He has blessed my family, and my children have become
Christians under his ministry.
Deacon W. T. Pell greeted Doctor Armitage as :
The friend, counselor, and loving pastor of his boy-
hood, who seemed always to be in the mood for saying
something interesting and bright. There have been
few enjoyments so great as to listen to your conversa-
Mr. Frank J. Goodwin concluded some interest-
ing recollections of Doctor Armitage's frequent visits
to his father's house when the speaker was a small
boy, by a loving tribute to the pastor.
Addresses were also made by Col. Joel W. Ma-
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 129
son, Rev. Samuel Alman, Rev. D. W. Wisher,
Hon. Thomas C. Acton, and Gen. Clinton B. Fiske.
Colonel Mason said, in substance ;
I became acquainted with Doctor Armitage soon after
he was chosen pastor of this church. He was then
preaching in Norfolk Street. I had been attending the
Tabernacle Baptist Church in Mulberry Street, but the
congregation moved to Second Avenue and Tenth Street,
then considered to be away uptown. So, wishing to go
to some Baptist church, and hearing there was a Baptist
minister near where I then lived, I went to hear him.
When I arrived the lower part of the house was filled to
overflowing, but I managed to get into the gallery.
Thomas Armitage was the preacher. He was delivering
a course of sermons to young men. He handled his
subject without gloves, and as he denounced the vices
and follies of young men, I felt like shouting Amen, and
I said to my wife, ** That is the minister for us." From
that time to this I have been a member of his congrega-
tion. I have been greatly benefited by the very able
sermons preached by Doctor Armitage, especially in my
life as a business man. His annual sermons to the aged
and the young of both sexes have been models of the
best religious common sense. . . Forty years have
passed since Doctor Armitage became pastor of this
church. His path has not always been strewn with
flowers. He has encountered many a thorn in the way
and had his share of the afflictions of human life. But
he is now in the flower of his usefulness. The church
and congregation have just reason to feel proud of him,
and to be thankful that he has so long been spared to them .
Rev. Samuel Alman, pastor of the Emmanuel
Baptist Church, then said :
Mr. Chairman : When I read the names of the
speakers on this programme, not being present to hear
them at the forenoon and afternoon sessions, I came to
the conckision that Httle could be said by me that was
new ; but in that basket of fair HUes (pointing to a basket
of flowers), while all have the same outward appearance,
they yet differ in size and tint and form, and it takes
them all to make that beautiful cluster. I want to add
one lily more.
I come from your oldest daughter, doctor, your first
child, to put upon your head a wreath of evergreen, and
I assure you that no more pleasant office could be dele-
gated to me than this.
Addressing the church, Mr. Alman said :
There is something very markedly peculiar in the re-
lationship that exists between the speaker and your
pastor. As many of you know, I was born and trained
when a youth, very religiously in the orthodox Jewish
faith, and when I was a boy I remember oftentimes my
father's and my mother's hands resting upon the Hebrew
lad, in the solemn prayer X)f dedication. My name,
Samuel, means something. It was my mother's and
father's prayer that I should be a Jewish minister, and
constantly their hands were upon my head, especially on
Friday night, when we went into the synagogue to wor-
ship. They wanted me to be a Jewish rabbi.
As a lad I wandered around the world a good deal,
until I reached the age of twenty-four, when I was con-
verted and brought to the Lord Jesus Christ. When I
was ordained before this pulpit, something like twenty
years ago, and the dear doctor's hand rested upon my
head trembling in emotion and in benediction, my
memory went back to my boyhood days, and I said,
truly God is good and he has answered the prayer of my
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 131
father and mother in a more abundant manner than
they ever conceived of. Not a minister of circumcision,
but a minister of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.
And I will never forget the consecrating prayer that the
doctor then offered standing here where I now stand.
Now, I not only come representing the daughter of
this church, but more, I might also say the grand-
children. Oh, how many of them have been born
through this instrumentality ! And it is very fitting that
I should say only this word here to-night : We owe all
that we are, and all that we shall be, humanly speaking,
to the kind treatment, the sympathy, the devotedness
and the benevolence of this church and pastor.^ . .
There is one thing I want to emphasize. I am not a
collegian. I never had the opportunity of one day's ed-
ucation in any institution. . .
If I am anything as a Christian pastor to-day, I owe
it largely to the kind fatherly treatment and help I re-
ceived from Doctor Armitage, when, timid and fearful,
I entered the Master's service. I am glad to be here to-
night to say this word.
Doctor Armitage can, I think, say with the psalmist
to-night, "My cup runneth over." It is better to give
flowers to the living while they can enjoy them than to
put them on the coffin when they are gone. And so you
have been strewing flowers of praise, of aff'ection, and ad-
miration. It is right to do so. It is a grand thing for a
church to say, * ' We have had our pastor for forty years. ' '
I ask you to accept our notes of gladdest greeting.
Rev. D. W. Wisher (colored), pastor of the Mount
Olivet Church, being introduced, spoke as follows :
1 Emmanuel Church is a branch of the Fifth Avenue
Church, and its edifice was erected by J. A. Bostwick, Esq.,
and presented to its trustees.
Mr. Chairman : It is with the greatest pleasure that I
am here as a messenger of Mount Olivet Baptist Church,
the daughter, sending words of love, words of congratula-
tion, words of praise to her father and mother in the faith,
to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of their marriage as
pastor and church. Our hearts to-day are glad and full of
thanksgiving to God for his goodness and his grace to us
both. At the same time we feel proud that we can honor
ourselves as we thank God that ever since we were born
out of this church he has kept us so that you can look
upon us and feel that we have not dishonored your name.
With great reverence and high respect, we look up to
you. Doctor Armitage, and if it were the custom in this
age, as when Greece crowned its great men, its renowned
poets, its statesmen, its brave soldiers, and the victors
of the Olympic games, with wreaths of honor, we would
with hands trembling for joy place upon your venerable
head a wreath of honor, for there is none more worthy
to wear it.
For forty years, Doctor Armitage, you have been the
pastor of this noble branch of God's Zion, united with
your people in love and Christian zeal, toiling hand in
hand, and have wrought a work in the Master's vine-
yard that has been one among the grandest in Baptist
Yet, although we look upon ourselves as the least
among your children, we know that you need not be
ashamed of us. In the ten years since you and your
dear people blessed us as a church, we have gained over
five hundred souls for Christ.
Let me say in conclusion that we pray God to bless
you, doctor, to add many years to your life full of joy
and peace, and to crown you with abundant success in
the future as he has in the past.
Hon. Thomas C. Acton spoke a few words with
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 133
an energy that greatly delighted the audience. He
I went to the Pacific coast many years ago and I was
taken for a Baptist minister, and then for a Methodist
minister, but this is the first opportunity I have ever had
of speaking from a pulpit. I have known Doctor Armi-
tage as a preacher of Christ, and as a patriot — a stanch
patriot during the war. No better man lives. Though
he is an unassuming, pleasant gentleman, he has got the
moral courage to face all evil for a principle. He could
stand before a gatling gun for his country and not shake.
God bless you, doctor.
Gen. Clinton B. Fiske was then introduced, and
spoke substantially as follows :
When I heard Doctor Miller announce that he w^as an
ex-Methodist, that Doctor Armitage was an ex-Methodist,
and several other illustrious personages were ex-Meth-
odists, then I knew what gave spirit and power and suc-
cess to this meeting. I have made a full day of it. I have
been here and I enjoyed it all day long. This is one of
my BajDtist days. I came because I love Doctor Armi-
tage. I have always had a warm side toward Baptists.
My mother was one of the best Baptist mothers that
ever breathed. Doctor Armitage had a good Methodist
mother, and that makes us half-brothers at least.
I can say to him and to you, God bless him, God bless
you. We can express no better wish for ourselves, for
him, or for you and this great church, than that we may
be a part of the celebration in the life to come, in that
better life to which Doctor Armitage has so faithfully
pointed all who have listened to his sermons.
The chairman then said :
We now close the record of the day — the record of the
history of forty years — with profound admiration and
gratitude for all that it has brought us. This pulpit has
had a sweet, true, simple life in it, and you know its re-
sults. They have been brought beautifully before you
to-day. "Well done good and faithful servant." Let
us all rise and sing, ' * Praise God from whom all bless-
The benediction was then pronounced by Rev.
D. Henry Miller, and the fortieth anniversary of
Doctor Armitage's pastorate came to a close.
ALTHOUGH Doctor Armitage's strict ideas of
iiis obligations to his own people rarely al-
lowed him to do service in other churches on the
Lord's Day, or to invite ministers, either of his own
or other denominations, to exchange pulpits with
him, yet his opportunities for social intercourse with
brethren in the ministry of all the different churches
were many and frequent. His genial traits of char-
acter were such that, whether in public meetings or
social gatherings, few men were more warmly wel-
comed or more sincerely loved. Forty years of
steady service in one city pulpit was in itself a test
of eminent ability, and his profound study of the
word of God had made him the acknowledged peer
of any of his ministerial brethren. Noted for fearless
annunciation of the truth as he understood it, he
was justly distinguished for his broad charitableness
and refined, conciliatory manner. These qualities
endeared him to other denominations as well as to
his own, therefore it occasioned no surprise that
Christian ministers of all denominations should de-
sire to do honor to a ministry such as that of Doctor
Armitage, or that they should seek an opportunity
to give expression to their feelings as in the follow-
ing letter :
Mr. J. A. BosTAViCK.
Dear Sir. Understanding that the fortieth anniversary
of Doctor Armitage's ministry in this city is near at hand,
we hope it will not seem an intrusion, if we suggest that
to others, as well as to his own congregation, such an oc-
casion is a matter of deep interest. He has done so much
for the general good, as well as to the particular church
he serves, that we, in common with so many, hold him
in such high esteem that we shall be glad to hear that
those who are nearest to him will in some fitting way
allow us to commemorate these forty years of faithful
Very truly yours,
Thomas Hastings. James M. Ludlow.
S. M. Hamilton. Wm. M. Taylor.
C. A. Briggs. C. a. Stoddard.
John Hall. W. G. T. Shedd.
Geo. S. Payson. Abbott Kittredge.
Wendall Prime. T. W. Chambers.
Howard Crosby. Henry M. Field.
W. T. Sabine.
A very courteous response was made by Mr.
Bostwick on behalf of the trustees and deacons,
heartily assenting to the service proposed, and
placing the church edifice at their service. At the
request of Doctor Hastings, Rev. Dr. H. M. Sanders
Avas invited to aid in the proposed arrangements.
The time agreed upon for the services was April 24,
1888, at 8 p. M. The auditorium was completely
filled, and a large number of distinguished clergy-
JABEZ A. BUSTWICK.
INTERDENOMINATIONAL SERVICES 137
men occupied the platform. Prayer was offered by
Kev. Charles C. Norton, d. d. An anthem was sung
by the choir. Doctor Hastings delivered an intro-
ductory address, saying in part :
I look up to my friend and brother, Doctor Armitage,
with mingled respect and affection. When I awoke to
the idea that he is such a patriarch, I said to myself:
"Dear me! we have been side by side all these years
and I have not known how I should reverence him." . .
I know these Baptists pretty well. I have lived across
the street from them nineteen years, and know many by
sight, for they linger about the door under the droppings
of the sanctuary, holding sweet communion on the side-
walk, and I have learned their wnys. So the next thing
that occurred to me was, ''If they have congratulatory
memorial services, they will have it all to themselves,
and not let us take a share." I ventured, in a moment
of forgetfulness, to suggest to a good Baptist brother, "If
you must have a good time all by yourselves, do try it
again, and let the representatives of other churches that
love your minister, come together and share your joy,
and pay their tribute of congratulation." The sugges-
tion was kindly received, and because it happened to
come from me, I am here to-night in this position. . .
If there is one thing I have particularly liked about Doc-
tor Armitage, it is this : he knows how to differ with a
man, and differ like a Christian and like a gentleman.
He knows what he believes, and why he believes it, and
he stands by it !
Doctor Hastings continued his remarks in a very
tender, touching strain, calling up many fond recol-
lections of bygone years. He illustrated the real
union of all Christians by a view he once had from
the summit of Mount Washington. ^^ Before the sun
had risen it had seemed a solemn, majestic, lonely-
peak, but when the great orb of day had dispersed the
obscuring mists, it was found to be but one of a con-
nected chain of mountains, all having a single base/'
He concluded by saying : " God bless you, my
brother, and may the shadows lengthen slowly.''
Doctor Hastings then introduced Dr. Henry M.
Sanders, Avho said :
It is certainly a very gratifying sight, and one most
pleasing to Doctor Armitage, to see here so many and so
distinguished representatives of other denominations,
and I question whether the spectacle afforded him last
Sunday, when so many of his brethren more closely affili-
ated with him in ecclesiastical ties crowded this church,
gratifying as it must have been, was any more so than
what he witnesses to-night. . . If we were called upon
to express any one characteristic of Doctor Armitage we
should come nearest to unanimity in saying, ' ' aflfection-
ateness." Any of us who have received a letter from
him in the well-known chirography (with penmanship so
legible that it indicated the sincerity and transparency
of his own character) as we came to the close and read,
''Yours, affectionately, Thomas Armitage," have felt the
throb of the heart-beat in those words.
Doctor Sanders then read letters from Bishop
Henry C. Potter, Rev. Drs. Chambers, William M.
Taylor, William T. Sabine, and Lyman Abbott, re-
gretting their enforced absence, and expressing the
most affectionate sympathy with the object of the
meeting. Doctor Hastings then introduced succes-
INTERDENOMINATIONAL SERVICES 139
sively Dr. J. M. Buckley, editor of the "Christian
Advocate/^ a Methodist journal ; Dr. J. M. King, rep-
resenting a Methodist pulpit ; Rev. Chas. F. Deems,
of no denomination or of all denominations, then
pastor of the Church of the Strangers, and Dr. John
Hall, each of whom delivered addresses more than
worthy to be reported in full, but meagre excerpts
must suffice. Doctor Buckley said :
Doctor Armitage received his original impulse in the
Methodist denomination. He justifies his change upon
the ground that as his mind unfolded and he thought for
himself, he saw that his environment was not in perfect
harmony with the internal condition. For that reason
he changed. Such a change is an honest one. He de-
parted, but he left behind him love and esteem. He was
a man of convictions, and being an able man, he became
a power among his new people.
Dr. James M. King said :
I want to pay my tribute to Doctor Armitage for his
intense denominationalism, not offensive, narrow sec-
tarianism, but intense denominationalism ! I love my
family better than any other man's family, but I have,
because of the intensity of my love for those who belong
to me in sacred relationship, all the broader and ten-
derer feelings toward the families of others.
Dr. Charles F. Deems said :
When there is one in our midst who for forty years has
been pointing the way to heaven and leading men away
from sin, I stand before the fact wdth reverence. . .
Doctor Armitage may pass away, and the special words
he has uttered may have fallen upon the last ear that
shall receive them ; his books even, having done their
work, may be relegated to the library of the curiosities of
past literature, but the influence of his earnest Christian
ministry will live. . . A man may take up any printed
page of Thomas Armitage and pick a flaw in this sen-
tence, or a mistake in that ; but there is not a man who
has known his career who will not feel that that is an
argument for the truth of Christianity more convincing
than any syllogism that ever was written.
Before introducing the next speaker, the chairman,
Doctor Hastings, related the following story :
My devoted colleague, Doctor Shedd, seldom indulges
in anecdote, but I have heard him tell this story with a
great deal of humor. He was waiting on one of our
wharves for an incoming steamer and overheard two
'longshoremen talking together. One said : "Jack, I am
going next Sunday to hear Ward Beecher."
"Why ! who is Ward Beecher ?" asked the other.
"Why don't you know who Ward Beecher is ? "
"No, I never heard of him before."
The other said, " He is a Baptist."
Doctor Shedd stopped and looked at the men, saying :
" Are you sure that Ward Beecher is a Baptist? "
"Yes, sir, I know it," was the reply.
"Well," said Doctor Shedd, "I think you are mis-
"Well," was the reply, "he is a peculiar kind of a
Baptist. He is what they sometimes call, I think, a
We shall now hear from a large representative of the
Pedobaptists, Dr. John Hall.
Dr. Hall said:
INTERDENOMINATIONAL SERVICES 141
I have had the opportunity to know Doctor Armitage
and have had the same estimate of him that has been
held by my brethren : that he was a true Christian gen-
tleman, a genuine godly minister, in the truest sense a
good neighbor, and that he could be counted upon as a
brother upon whose sympatliy and practical assistance
one could always rely. . . He has been kind enough to
permit me to speak from the pulpit to his people here,
and I feel sure that a man so conscientious would not
have done so if he had not had a general belief that I
would try to preach the truth.
The chairman then said : " Now, I think we can
fitly close our service with that grand old hymn —
''Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love."
After the hymn had been sung Doctor Armitage
I offer my thanks to you, dear friends, for your pres-
ence, and to my own church for their appreciation, and
for all they have done to make these services and those
of last Sunday, so happy. . . To-morrow night my own
church and congregation will please meet me in this
place. I shall have communications to make with refer-
ence to the future, and I want to take leave of you by a
shake of the hand and a touch of the heart, because I
shall be standing on the deck of a vessel on Saturday
morning next, and will be absent until the coming
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of
God our heavenly Father, and the fellowship of the Holy
Spirit, abide with us forever. Amen.
Thus closed the public services connected with
the celebration of the fortieth anniversary of Doctor
Armitage's pastorate in the Fifth Avenue Baptist
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH (CONTINUED)
DOCTOR Armitage's Resignation. — The no-
tice given by Doctor Armitage that he would
present a communication to the church at its next
regular meeting (on the evening of May 25) which
would largely affect its future interest, drew to-
gether a large congregation. After the meeting
was opened, Doctor Armitage read a paper, the sub-
stance of which was as follows :
No. 2 West Forty-sixth Street,
New York, April 25, 1888.
To the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church.
My Beloved Brethren : On March 28 I asked you
to grant me an absence from pastoral work until October
next, for procuring the rest which years of unbroken
labor now demand. This request you referred with
power to the united Board of deacons and trustees, who
have unanimously granted the petition, and I hope to
leave for Europe on the 28th inst. On returning in
October, I shall have entered upon the seventieth year
of my age. . . For several years I have cherished the
hope that at the close of my fortieth year as pastor with
you, the tranquillity which man commonly needs and
craves at three-score years and ten, might be granted to
me. In the year 1889, I shall have been a pastor for
fifty years, and I would like to spend the rest of my days
in the quiet and moderate pursuit of such Uterary work
as cannot be well done together with the heavy duties
which my pastoral responsibilities impose. These views
have been fully expressed to several officers of the
church. . . The deacons and trustees have kindly con-
sulted with me concerning my wishes, and have ad-
dressed to me these touching words : ''Beloved as you
have been and are, so you shall remain. You are re-
vered as father, brother, counselor, and guide ; and
sympathies born of so many years, and intertwined with
so many memories of joy and sorrow, cannot be broken
now. We propose, therefore, to place you in such inti-
mate relations to us as will secure to you larger leisure
for studies, in which you have shown peculiar aptitude,
by freeing you from the exactions of weekly service in
the pulpit, and the demands inseparably connected with
a large Metropolitan pastorate. This will separate you
from your accustomed labor, but not from us." . .
They also say in regard to my support, "Pastor, dis-
miss all care on that subject, and leave yourself in the
hands of your life-long friends." Not another word is
needful from them on that point, and all anxiety on my
part would be superfluous. . . Long pastorates are de-
sirable for many reasons ; but there is a time for them
to cease, lest feebleness and retrogression ensue. . .
When I accepted the office of pastor, in 1848, it was on
the condition, that when either party desired the disso-
lution of the pastoral relation, three months' notice
should be given to the other party.
Therefore I now tender my resignation to take efifect
January 1, 1889.
This letter, so unexpected to nearly every one
present, was listened to in almost painful silence,
and but for the positive terms in which it was
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 145
couched, might have been refused. It was, how-
ever, the result of careful consultation on the part
of Doctor Armitage with true and tried friends of
himself and the church, and this was made evident
in an address by Mr. Bostwick, showing that
This communication from the pastor had been deter-
mined upon after the most kindly conferences between
himself and the joint committee . . . and had, in every
particular, the unanimous endorsement of both deacons
and trustees. . . At the same time, it is mutually un-
derstood that in no case do we consent that his name
and presence shall be taken from this church, or that he
shall ever be the pastor of another. We want him with
us so long as he shall live, and that he may never feel
the necessity of undue labor, it is arranged that he shall
receive an income as long as he lives, sufficient for his
necessities. The arrangements regarding this are being
perfected, and will be fully reported to you hereafter.
Mr. Bostwick concluded by asking that the whole
of this important matter should receive the most
careful consideration on the part of the church ; and
that the communication received from the pastor
should be considered in the same loving spirit in
which it was submitted. He suggested, however, that
no final action should be taken at this time, but that
the whole subject be referred to the joint committee.
After several kind addresses had been made, the
reference was moved and adopted.
Doctor Armitage's Resignation Accepted.
— At an adjourned business meeting of the church.
held May 30, Mr. Bostwick presiding, the following
report from the joint Board of deacons and trustees
was presented and adopted :
The committee to which was referred the resignation
of Doctor Armitage, as pastor of the Fifth Avenue Bap-
tist Church, beg leave to report, that after careful deliber-
ation and earnest examination of all the reasons assigned
for the action taken by the pastor, and in compliance
with his own personally expressed desire, they have
unanimously agreed to recommend to the church, that
the resignation of Doctor Armitage, as pastor of the
church, be accepted.
[Signed] J. A. Bostwick, Chairman,
H. W. Fish, Secretary.
Deacon L. M. Lawson then offered a preamble
and resolutions. The former paid a glowing, but
well-merited, tribute to Doctor Armitage's life, char-
acter, and ministry, during his forty years' pastor-
ate. The latter, the resolutions, which were unani-
mously adopted, are as follows :
Resolved, First. That the church accept the resignation
of Rev. Thomas Armitage, d. d., of the office of pastor,
to take effect on the first day of January, 1889.
Second. That we extend to him our sincere desire that
he may be blessed and preserved in his temporary
absence ; and that, with all our hearts, we wish him
God-speed and a safe return, in perfect health, and that
he carry with him the assurance of our united and un-
bro ken esteem.^
1 Doctor Armitage died January 20, 1896. His body rests
in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHUKCH (CONTINUED)
SETTLEMENT of Doctor Faunce.— Having
traced the history of the Fifth Avenue Church
from its organization in 1841 through the pastorate
of George Benedict and Thomas Armitage, through
its career of twenty-one years in Norfolk Street,
and its subsequent one of thirty years in Forty-
sixth Street, closing with the resignation of Doc-
tor Armitage, it seems unnecessary to continue it
further than to record the circumstances that led
to the unanimous call extended to Rev. W. H.
P. Faunce — then pastor of State Street Baptist
Church in Springfield, Mass. — to become his suc-
cessor. These circumstances were as follows: Im-
mediately after action had been taken on the resig-
nation of Doctor Armitage the church appointed a
committee, consisting of all the deacons and trustees,
to act as a joint Board, with instructions to seek an
earnest, able, and devoted minister of Christ, suit-
able to succeed Doctor Armitage in the pastorate,
and when, in their judgment, they should find such
a man, to report to the church. The committee —
consisting of George H. Hansell, Benjamin F. Jud-
son, James D. Reid, John F. Comey, Horace W.
Fish, and Walter T. Pell, of the Board of Deacons ;
and Jabez A. Bostwick, William Bockefeller, AVal-
ter N. Wood, John D. Rockefeller, D. W. Man-
waring, Charles L. Colby, George N. Curtis, John
F. Comey, and John F. Plummer, of the Board of
Trustees — organized for their work .by electing
Jabez A. Bostwick (the president of the Board of
Trustees) chairman, and Horace W. Fish (secretary
of the Board of Deacons) secretary. These brethren
applied themselves assiduously to the work entrusted
to them by the church, spending much time and
making many visits to distant cities to hear different
ministers whose names had been suggested or had
occurred to them as likely to meet the requirements
of the church, taking especial care that such minis-
ters should be heard twice at least by two or three
members of the committee. These efforts were
prayerfully and faithfully continued, with scarcely
a week's intermission, until on July 10, 1889, they
were able to present a report to the church, signed
by all save one of their number, recommending that
an invitation be extended to Rev. W. H. P. Faunce,
of Springfield, Mass., to become its pastor. The
report was adopted, and the invitation was extended
by a unanimous vote. After a short time Mr.
Faunce responded, accepting the call, and at the
midweek meeting held in the lecture room on
Wednesday evening, October 13, 1889, he was
introduced to the audience by the senior deacon,
George H. Hansell, and entered at once upon his
THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 14i)
pastoral work. The next Communion Sunday the
hand of church-fellowship was extended to him by
Edward Bright, D. D., on behalf of the church,
and he was thus publicly welcomed and installed as
its pastor. In this position his ministry has borne,
and is still bearing, distinguishing marks of the
divine approval and blessing.
Above his tomb in St. PauFs Cathedral, London,
there are inscribed in Latin these words, referring
to Sir Christopher Wren :
"If you would see his monument, look around
May the day be far distant when Dr. W. H. P.
Faunce shall need a monument, but to any visitor
to the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church who shall ask
aught concerning the present success and promise
of his ministry the response may well be : " Look
around you ! '' ^
1 Since these words were written Doctor Faunce has received
and accepted a call to become President of Brown University.
Reluctantly the church has given its consent and will pray for
the largest success as educator of one who has been so pre-emi-
nently useful as a pastor.
THE FIRST CHURCH FROM 1841 TO 1897, AND
DOCTOR CONE'S pastorate with the First
Church, in Broome Street, began in 1841 and
continued until his death, which occurred in the
summer of 1855. During the first few years pros-
perity and perfect harmony prevailed, and the per-
sonal relations between the pastor and those who
came from Gold Street and those w^ho followed him
from Oliver Street, were all that could be wished.
Prominent among the former were Deacons William
Cooper and William Hillman, whose fidelity to the
pastor and solicitude for the welfare of the church
never faltered. Wise in counsel, firm in their con-
victions, and conservative in their views of church
order and discipline, few men have used the office
they held more effectively, especially in holding the
church together during the long time that they were
without a pastor. Deacon Hillman survived Doctor
Cone several years. In a funeral address, his pas-
tor. Rev. Dr. Thomas D. Anderson, alluding to
Deacon Hillman's long official career, used the fol-
lowing appropriate words, "As a young man, he
walked with William Parkinson; as a peer, with
THE FIKST CHUKCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 151
Spencer H. Cone; as a father, with Kingman
Among those who followed Doctor Cone from
Oliver Street were some who afterward arrayed
themselves against him and caused him deep sor-
row. Doctor Cone was president of the American
Bible Union ; and here in the First Church (as in
the Fifth Avenue Church when in Norfolk Street),
the Revision movement was the burning question of
the day. Here also, as there, it led to bitter dissen-
sions and open quarrels, then to exclusion of mem-
bers, an ex parte council, and the withdrawal of
fellowship from a sister church which had received
these excluded members on the advice of said coun-
cil. The unhappy breach thus begun continued
until about the year 1870; when the chief actors
having passed on to a world where dissensions
never come — the survivors got tired of living apart,
and each church that had disfellowshiped another,
rescinded its action, and the two Baptist Associa-
tions to which the estranged parties had respectively
belonged were united, and became The Southern
New York Baptist Association, since which time
the churches of our Baptist "Zion^' have been
" one and inseparable,'^ and hope to be so ^^ now
After the death of Doctor Cone, the church was
without a pastor about two years, when it called
Rev. A. Kingman Nott, a young man of superior
gifts and devoted piety. He won the hearts of the
people at once, and during his short ministry bap-
tized between one hundred and two hundred con-
verts, including many men advanced in years who
had sat under the preaching of William Parkinson
and Spencer H. Cone for more than a score of years,
It was the lot of this much-loved young servant
of Christ to do a great work for his Lord in a short
time. In May, 1859 the New York Baptist Asso-
ciation, to w^iich the First Church belonged, met at
Graniteville, S. I. Young Nott preached by ap-
pointment the annual sermon, which was listened to
w^ith absorbing interest. He was then in excellent
health and seemingly had the promise of an ex-
tended as well as useful service. But w^e know
little Avhat is before us. On the following July,
w^hile on a visit to some relatives, he was drowned
while bathing. As he was known to be a good
swimmer it is supposed that he was seized with
cramps. The Lord gave him to the church for a
while and then took him to himself, deeply mourned
by all ; his sudden death came to the church and
congregation to which he ministered as an over-
After the death of their lamented young pastor
the First Church called Thomas D. Anderson, d. d.
as pastor. Doctor Anderson was a man of fine
presence, highly polished manners, a very able
preacher, and a deservedly popular man, not only
in his own, but among all Christians denominations.
THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 1 53
During his pastorate the church sold its property in
Broome Street and removed to Thirty-ninth Street
and Park Avenue, where an elegant edifice was
erected in which was placed an open marble bap-
tistery, said to have cost one thousand dollars, a
present to the church. Doctor Anderson resigned
the pastorate of the church to accept a call from a
church in South Boston, Mass. He was little past
the meridian of life, when he was called to his man-
The next pastor in the First Church was John
Peddie, d. d. He was called from the Second
Church of Chicago, and though his pastorate was
short, by his winning personality and earnest man-
ner he made many friends. He resigned to accept
the pastorate of the Fifth Baptist Church of Phila-
delphia. On his resignation the church extended
a call to Rev. I. M. Haldeman, its present pastor,
whose acceptance inaugurated an era of great suc-
In 1890 the church sold the property on Thirty-
ninth Street and Park Avenue for two hundred and
twenty thousand dollars, and shortly afterward hired
the use of All Angel's Chapel, where the congrega-
tion worshiped until they entered the lecture room
of the elegant edifice on the corner of Boulevard
and Seventy-ninth Street, which they now occupy.
This church has had many noble workers who have
passed on to the unseen land, including two genera-
tions of the Hillmans, the Durbrows, the Todds,
the Hayes, and the widely known and venerated
deacon, Joseph Brokaw. In this church too, Dea-
con Smith Sheldon, well known as the head of the
large publishing house of Sheldon & Company, and
as an active manager in nearly all our denomina-
tional societies, spent the latest years of his euer-
getic and busy life, having previously served as a
deacon in the Tabernacle and the Madison Avenue
Churches. Among its present leaders are many
besides its pastor, " whose works praise them."
Mr. Haldeman preaches to large and delighted
audiences, who with common consent, ascribe to
him not only eminent talent, but something rarer
still, genius. The present membership of the
church is four hundred and sixty-five.
A brief mention of New York Baptist churches
of an early date which have been hitherto over-
looked, and an equally brief record of those which
have been organized in later years, must serve to
bring these reminiscences to a close. Of the
churches that have been omitted, the Sixth Street
Church is the first that should be noticed. This
church was organized February 15, 1840. Its first
meeting-house was in Sixth Street, not far from the
East River, and its first pastor was Rev. John O.
Choules. Among the pastors who succeeded him
were Revs. John T. Seeley, C. Billings Smith, Lem-
uel Covell, Chas. C. Norton, E. F. Crane, James
Dubois, Henry Angell, and Daniel C. Potter. Rev.
John T. Seeley, the second pastor of the church, re-
THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 155
signed his charge in 1852 after having done a good
work. He had a loving, genial disposition, and his
removal to another field of labor was greatly re-
gretted. It was during Mr. Seeley^s pastorate that
the new meeting-house was erected, and it was
mainly due to his exertions and wise direction tliat
the building enterprise was accomplished. It has
more than once been noticed that a minister's suc-
cess in building a new house of worship has been
quickly followed by his resignation of the pastorate.
Why ? Let those answer who can. The fact is
undeniable. After the brief pastorate of Rev. C.
Billings Smith and Rev. Lemuel Covell, one year
each, Rev. Chas. C. Norton served the church eight
years with great success. He then resigned to ac-
cept the call of the Yorkville (afterward Eighty-
third Street and now Central Park) Baptist Church,
where he labored nearly forty years, until failing
health compelled him to resign and accept the posi-
tion of pastor emeritus. He was followed in the
Sixth Street Church by brethren Crane, Dubois,
and Angell, already named; and in 1873 by Rev.
D. C. Potter. In 1885 the church united with the
Tabernacle Church in Second Avenue, and in 1886
Doctor Potter's name appears in the Minutes of The
Southern New York Baptist Association as the pas-
tor of that church. Doctor Norton has since gone
to his rest and reward. The present pastor is Rev.
Harry M. Warren. Present membership two hun-
dred and thirty-six.
The Central Church, now located in Forty-second
Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, was
organized in 1843 as the Bloomingdale Baptist
Church. Its first meeting-house was erected on
the corner of Eighth Avenue and Forty-third Street
in 1844. Its second pastor was Rev. Stephen Wil-
kins, a plain, unpolished, but able preacher, who
accomplished much good, not only in the church to
which he ministered, but also in aiding his brother
ministers in special meetings. The Norfolk Street
Church was his debtor for services of this character.
The Central Church erected its present house of
worship in 1863 and assumed its present name in
1868. This church has had many able ministers,
among them Isaac Westcott, D. D., J. D. Herr,
D. D., Henry M. Sanders, D. D., and Rev. W. W.
AYalker. Its present efficient pastor is Rev. F. M.
Goodchild. Among its active officers and financial
helpers have been Richard Mott, Thomas R. Harris,
and others Vvho have passed away, and James
Pyle, A. W. Parsons, J. W. Perry, Wm. McBride,
and others among the living. Its present member-
ship is five hundred and fifty-five.
The Memorial Church of Christ, Washington
Square, South, was organized in 1838 as the Berean
Baptist Church of the city of New York. It was
an offshoot of the North Beriah Baptist Church.
Its first pastor was Aaron Perkins, D. D., and its
first house of worship Avas a small brick meeting-
house in King Street, near Yarick. Its constituent
THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 157
members were only twenty-one in number. Doctor
Perkins served the church six years, and was suc-
ceeded by John Dowling, D. D. The church now
moved to a new meeting-house with parsonage
adjoining. In 1850 Dr. Dowling resigned to be-
come pastor of a church in Philadelphia. The
subsequent pastors of the Berean Church were Rev.
James R. Stone, from 1850 to 1852; Rev. John
A. McKean, from 1852 to 1855; John Dowling,
D. D. (second pastorate), from 1856 to 1869; Rev.
Philip L. Davies, from March, 1870, until his death
in July, 1875; Rev. Luther G. Barrett, from 1875
to 1877; Rev. John Quincy Adams, from Novem-
ber, 1877, until his death, July 27, 1881.
Edward Judson, d. d., became pastor of the
Berean Church in October, 1881. The church
occupied the old meeting-house in Bedford Street
until February 1, 1891, nearly fifty years from the
date of its dedication to God. In 1885, a reorgani-
zation having taken place under the law of May 15,
1876, the corporate name was changed to The
Berean Baptist Church of Christ in New York, and
January 23, 1891 (being about to enter their new
church edifice on Washington Square), the church
assumed the name by which it is henceforth to be
known, The Memorial Baptist Church of Christ in
New York. The present buildings were erected as
a memorial of Adoniram Judson, the first American
Baptist missionary to Burma. The present mem-
bership is one thousand and seventy-four. Doctor
1 58 REMINISCENCES
Judson is doing a varied and vital work, and is
helping to solve the problem of the downtown
Bethesda Baptist Church. When Doctor Parkin-
son resigned the pastorate of the First Cliurch it
was — as learned from a friend who had access to
his papers after his death — his intention to retire
from the pastoral office, but to continue the cus-
tomary addresses from the steps of City Hall on
Sunday afternoons, chiefly to the unconverted.
Here he sometimes spoke to one thousand people.
After a while, however, a number of the members
of the First Church who did not wish to go "up-
town" — as Broome Street was then considered to
be — drew off from the parent church and started a
new interest under the name of Bethesda Church.
These friends worshiped in a hall in Crosby Street,
and entreated Doctor Parkinson to become their
pastor. Their entreaties finally prevailed. This
pastorate was of short duration. Doctor Parkinson
was laboring under the weight of years ; his facul-
ties failed, and he was soon compelled to give up all
public duties. The church then called Rev. C. J.
Hopkins. I do not remember how long Mr. Hop-
kins served the church, but on his resignation, or
shortly after, the church changed its location to the
corner of Chrystie and Delancy Streets, and called
Eev. Mr. Baldwin to become their pastor. What
followed on Mr. Baldwin's leaving and going to a
church in another State I do not distinctly remem-
THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 159
ber, but eventually the congregation moved to East
Twenty-second Street and called Rev. Samuel J.
Knapp, who, after a successful pastorate of several
years, was followed by Wm. H. Pendleton, d. d.,
The Union Baptist Church, on Fourth Avenue,
was organized in 1847, and Rev. O. B. Judd became
pastor. The church was admitted into the Hudson
River Baptist Association in 1848. In their letter
to that Association in 1849, they record an increase
of four by baptism and six by letter, a total mem-
bership of sixty-two, and general prosperity. This
year (1849) they secured a permanent place of wor-
ship. In 1851 they reported to the Association an
increase of five by baptism and eleven by letter, with
three dismissals by letter ; total members, seventy-
five; and that Rev. D. S. Parmely was pastor.
Their former pastor, Rev. O. B. Judd, had resigned
for the purpose of editing the New Yo7'k Chronicle,
During 1852, under Mr. Parmely's pastorate, their
numbers increased to ninety-two, and in 1853 to
one hundred and thirty-eight. In 1854, with Mr.
Parmely still pastor, they report a total of one
hundred and fifty-one, and speak of an encouraging
progress financially and spiritually. In 1856, Rev.
Jay S. Backus, pastor, they report an increase of
nine ; dismissal by letter, thirty-six ; present num-
ber, one hundred and twenty-four. They have
been sorely tried by removals and death, regret the
removal of their last pastor, and hope to increase
under their present leader. No letter in 1857. I
find no record of the Union Baptist Church after
The First Mariners' Baptist Church was organ-
ized in 1843 as the Baptist Seaman's Bethel. It
was the outcome of the efforts made by a few mem-
bers of the North Beriah Baptist Church, led by
Mrs. C. A. Putnam, a highly gifted and large-
hearted lady who seemed peculiarly drawn to devise
something for this class of generous, brave, but
neglected men. Mr. Isaac Townsend Smith, a son-
in-law of Mrs. Putnam, agreed to take temporary
charge of this missionary work, and quickly found
himself so deeply absorbed in it that he devoted to
it nine years of his life. A hall was hired in Catha-
rine Street, near Cherry, where regular preaching
was soon established. A few years later, the First
Baptist Meeting-house for Mariners was erected in
Cherry Street, near Pike, and the work was put in
charge of Elder Ira R. Steward, a man of deep
piety and a genius for hard work. His memory is
still in the hearts of older Baptists in this city. Out
of this church came our German and Swedish
missions, both at home and in Europe. Here New
York Baptists made their first acquaintance with
John G. Oncken and others who had suffered im-
prisonment and loss of goods in their own countries
for the cause of Christ. The church is now located
in Oliver Street, on the corner of Henry, in the
house of worship that formerly belonged to the
THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 161
Oliver Street Baptist Church. Here the beloved
and lamented Avery labored and laid down his life
for the Master and for seamen. The Mariners'
Temple, as it is now called, is sacred to the memory
of Mrs. Nathan Bishop, Deacon William A. Can Id-
well, and other friends, by whose large contributions
the work was sustained and enlarged. They have
gone to labor in a yet higher sphere. But the work
does not cease when the workmen depart. Wm. M.
Isaacs and other noble men and women associated
with him are bearing the burden which others laid
down. The present pastor of the Mariners' Temple
is Rev. M. G. Coger, who has but recently entered
upon his work. The field is a difficult one to cul-
tivate, and continually becomes more so, but the
workers have warm hearts and busy hands, and
Grod is with them. The present membership is two
hundred and seventeen.
The Mount Morris Baptist Church, William C.
Bitting, D. D., pastor, was organized in 1844, as the
First Baptist Church of Harlem. It was formerly
much rent by dissensions, but it is happily united
under its present pastor, and has long been one of
the most active churches in every department of
home work, as well as a large contributor to all our
missionary, educational, and benevolent enterprises.
From having been heavily in debt, it now, by the
blessing of God on its truly heroic labors, owns the
beautiful church edifice on Fifth Avenue, near One
Hundred and Twenty-seventh Street, where large
162 REMIN ISCENCES
audiences listen regularly to the earnest, pungent
preaching of the pastor, and the ingathering of souls
is large and continuous. Among the noble men
who have helped to bear the " burden and heat of
the day ^^ in this church, who have been with it
through good and evil report, it is pleasant to record
the names of Dr. T. Franklyn Smith, Stephen H.
Burr, Edward S. Clinch, Jed E. Adams, and other
faithful soldiers, ever found "with the harness on"
The total membership is one thousand and seventy-
The Central Park Baptist Church, East Eighty-
third Street, was constituted as the Yorkville Bap-
tist Church, in 1854. Among its first pastors was
Rev. Joseph Ballard, once well known in this city
as a member of the firm of Colby & Ballard, pub-
lishers of " The New York Recorder." This is where
the late Rev. Charles C. Norton, d. d., preached for
nearly forty years. It is now under the pastoral
care of Rev. Harry M. Warren. It is the second
church that has borne the same name. The first
was in West Fifty-third Street, Rev. Peter F.
Jones, pastor, and was disbanded in 1859, when
forty-three of its members deposited their letters
with the Fifth Avenue (then Norfolk Street) Church.
The late J. L. Hodge, d. d., also served this church
several years. The present membership is two hun-
dred and thirty-six.
The Ascension Baptist Church was organized in
May, 1864, under the name of The Trustees of the
THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 163
Melrose Mission Baptist Society. It was under the
care of Rev. J. Ferris Patton, a Baptist, then in the
employ of the trustees. It assumed its present
name in 1887, and is now under the pastoral care
of Rev. Mitchell Bronk. The membership is one
hundred and three.
The People's Baptist Church was organized as
the Fifty-third Street People's Church, in 1881.
It assumed its present name March 28, 1884, and
now worships in West Forty-seventh Street, near
Hope Baptist Church, corner of One Hundred
and Fourth Street and Boulevard, was organized
June 9, 1885, Rev. Richard Hartley, pastor, as
the Laight Street Baptist Church. It assumed its
present name January 8, 1889. The Laight Street
Church, organized in 1885, was the second church
of that name. The first Laight Street Baptist
Church was founded in 1842 or 1843, and its first
pastor was W. W. Everts. The membership is two
hundred and sixty-eight.
The Emmanuel Baptist Church, Suffolk Street,
near Grand, was organized in 1873, as the Second
Baptist Mission Church, Rev. Samuel Alman, pas-
tor. The first meetings of this body were held in a
loft in the upper part of Madison or Monroe Street.
Brother Alman, a son of Abraham after the flesh,
after cruising around the world as a sailor, had
been converted, and united by baptism with the
Central Park Church, Rev. C. C. Norton, pastor.
He had made the acquaintance of the late Deacon
Benj. F. Judson, of the Fifth Avenue Baptist
Church, who introduced him to the late Mr. J. A.
Bostwick, who kindly pledged one thousand two
hundred dollars to pay Mr. Alman's salary, as a
missionary, for one year. It was a hard field where
he began his work, and the policeman stationed
there often failed to keep order; but Mr. Alman
was equal to the emergency. He took the work of
keeping the peace into his own hands, and so effect-
ively, that the roughs soon learned to let him and
his congregation alone. After a while the mission
was removed to Grand Street, corner of Clinton
Street, then to Grand, corner of Allen Street, then
to Stanton Street. Large audiences collected, and
conversions were frequent. Mr. Bostwick's interest
in Mr. Alman and his work increased, until he felt
constrained to erect and equip the house of worship
in Suffolk Street, near Grand, where the church is
still maintained under the supervision of the Fifth
Avenue Baptist Church, to which Mr. Bostwick
deeded the property in trust, on the condition that a
Baptist church shall be sustained there, or in that
vicinity, for fifty years, at the expiration of which
time the Fifth Avenue Church becomes absolute
owner of the property. This munificent gift cost in
the first outlay ninety-five thousand dollars, which
sum was continually supplemented by the donor,
until it took the shape of an endowment, to be ad-
ministered by the trustees of the Fifth Avenue
E"'^, V **
dt-:acon benj. r. judson.
THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 165
Church. Since Mr. Bostwick^s death, Mrs. Bost-
wick has manifested her deep interest in Mr. Alman
and his work, by liberal benefactions. Some two
years ago, Mr. Alman lost the use of his voice, and
was obliged to leave the city to obtain professional
treatment. Although he returned to the field and
again occupied his pulpit, the improvement was of
short duration, and he has been compelled to retire
permanently from the ministry, to his great disap-
pointment and the regret of all his friends.
During Mr. Alman's absence, the trustees of the
Fifth Avenue Church engaged the services of Mr.
Samuel Colgate, Jr., w^ho had just given himself to
the gospel ministry, and whose heart's desire was to
spend his life laboring among the poor. He entered
this field with strong hopes, but soon was overtaken
by a severe illness which for a long time threatened
his life. Although his life was graciously spared,
his return to his wonted work was made impossible
by his change of denominational views. Rev. Mr.
Murch was next engaged on the field, which posi-
tion he occupied until Mr. Alman returned. At
present, the trustees are looking for a pastor for
the Emmanuel Church, the membership of which
is one hundred and forty-five.
The Tremont Baptist Church, Rev. Jonathan
Barstow, pastor, was organized in 1884. Mr. Bar-
stow has spent five years on this field. The church
has one hundred and thirty-one members, of whom
nine were baptized during 1898. A good work is
being quietly done, the membership being one hun-
dred and forty-one.
The Lexington Avenue Baptist Church, corner of
One Hundred and Eleventh Street, J. L. Camp-
bell, D. D., pastor, was organized in 1867 as the
Second Baptist Church of Harlem, and was for
several years under the pastoral care of the late
Halsey Moore, d. d., under whose ministry a large
church was gathered. Dr. Campbell's pastorate
began in 1888, and the church has now (1898)
nine hundred members. The pastor is greatly be-
loved, and the church is united and prosperous.
The Alexander Avenue Baptist Church, corner
of One Hundred and Forty-first Street, was organ-
ized in 1872 as the First Baptist Church of North
New York. It assumed its present name in De-
cember, 1888. The location is very pleasant, but
they sadly need a new church edifice. This church
has had many able pastors and efficient laymen who
have done good w^ork. Several of the latter, among
whom were Deacons Peck and Carley, have passed
on to their reward. When the church was without
a pastor its pulpit was frequently supplied by mem-
bers of the Baptist Lay-preaching Association.
Among its earlier pastors, the writer remembers
Rev. Messrs. Castle, Scott, and Hudson, all able
ministers of Jesus Christ. The present member-
ship is three hundred and twenty-seven.
The Grace Baptist Church was organized in 1885.
There have been two churches with that name. The
THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 167
first originated in the departure of a few members
of the Pilgrim Baptist Church, in West Thirty-third
Street, led by Kev. J. Spencer Kennard the pastor,
but the enterprise proved a failure, and the body
disbanded in about a year. The Second Grace
Church was ably and heroically led by T. K. Gess-
ler, D. D., for about eleven years, first meeting in a
church edifice on Ninety-third Street, between Lex-
ington and Park Avenues, and afterward for several
years in St. Nicholas Avenue, but the struggle was
too great even for one possessing Doctor Gessler^s
courage. In 1896, in its last annual letter to the
Association, the church reported a membership of
one hundred and twelve residents and nineteen non-
residents, six of the former having been baptized
during the preceding year. In 1897 the church
abandoned the effort to maintain a separate exist-
ence and cast in its lot with the Washington Heights
Baptist Church. This was done by authorizing
their church clerk to issue individual letters to all
who desired to unite with that church. Forty-three
The Baptist Church of the Redeemer, West One
Hundred and Thirty-first Street, between Lenox and
Seventh Avenues, was organized in 1883. It re-
ports to the Association, in 1897, two hundred and
eighty-one members, of whom eighteen were received
by baptism and fifteen by letter during that year.
The church feels deeply the loss of their pastor,
Rev. E. E. Knapp, who has resigned, feeling him-
self called to engage in evangelistic labor. At the
same time they give a hearty welcome to Rev. W.
Frank St. John their present pastor. The present
membership is two hundred and ninety.
Trinity Church, East Fifty-fifth Street, near Lex-
ington Avenue, Rev. James W. Putnam, pastor.
This church was organized as a Baptist church in
1857. The church edifice was formerly owned by
another denomination, but for some reason came to
be for sale. The late Rev. Sidney A. Corey who
had Qi penchant for dealing in church real estate, be-
lieving it was a good location for a Baptist church,
became the purchaser. But the property changed
hands more than once and many years elapsed ere
these expectations were realized. Among the early
pastors of this church were Rev. J. S. Holme and
Rev. James B. Simmons. During the pastorate of
Doctor Simmons, a great work was done for our
Chinese brethren through the labors of Mrs. Carto,
who was sustained in part by the City Baptist Mis-
sion, as its missionary to that people, visiting them
at their laundries, where she was always joyfully
received. Trinity Church became through her a
Chinese home where she entertained many China-
men and taught them on Sunday afternoons and
provided them with tea, thus securing further op-
portunity for instruction and likewise their presence
at the evening service. Mrs. Carto was the widow
of a Baptist minister in California, and began her
work for this people on the Pacific slope, finishing
THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 169
it in this city. She still lives, honored and be-
loved, but too enfeebled for active labor. Many of
those whom she won to Christ are now telling the
story of the cross in their own country. The total
membership is one hundred. This church has just
(1899) sold its property and united with the Baptist
Church of the Epiphany.
Morningside Church. This church is situated on
One Hundred and Sixteenth Street between Seventh
and Eighth Avenues, and has Rev. D. A. Mac-
Murray for its pastor. It was organized in 1894,
and has one hundred and twenty-two resident
and thirty-eight non-resident members, of whom
eleven were baptized and twenty-two received by
letter during the year 1897. It has had but one
pastor, the present one. The present membership
is one hundred and sixty-six.
Riverside Church. This church is situated at
Ninety-second Street, corner of Amsterdam Avenue,
Rev. James A. Francis, pastor. It was organized
in 1879. The church and congregation have erected
a beautiful and convenient house of worship. To
help them pay for the same, the New York City
Baptist Mission Society pledged to them ten thou-
sand dollars, of which amount six thousand five
hundred dollars had been paid, and the balance is
expected the present year. The church has a mem-
bership of two hundred and seventy-seven. Mr.
Francis was the fourth pastor , and had faithfully
served the church six years, when he resigned to
take charge of the newly formed Second Avenue
Baptist Church, in Second Avenue, between Tenth
and Eleventh Streets, where he is doing a good
work. Shortly after his resignation, Riverside
Church was successful in securing the services of
Rev. Robert Bruce Smith, who is laboring with
great success. The general interests of the church
are hopeful and conversions are occurring con-
The Beth Eden Church. This church, located on
Lorillard Avenue, was organized in 1881. It has
seventy-six resident and eleven non-resident mem-
bers. Its first pastor was Rev. J. B. English. He
resigned in 1897 to accept a call from a church in
De Land, Florida, and was succeeded by Rev. W. F.
Johnson. The membership is ninety-three.
The Mount Gilead Church. This church is situ-
ated at 104 East One Hundred and Twenty-sixth
Street, with Rev. B. W. Walker as pastor. It was or-
ganized in 1891. It had two hundred members, of
whom fourteen were baptized in 1897. No report
Sharon Church, Eighty-ninth Street, corner of
Park Avenue. Rev. G. W. Bailey, pastor, reports
one hundred and seventy-nine members.
The Mount Olivet Church. This church, Fifty-
third Street, near Eighth Avenue, Rev. Daniel W.
Wisher, pastor, has had a truly marvelous history.
It was organized in 1878 with about twenty mem-
bers, and in 1897 it reported a membership of one
THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 171
thousand four hundred and seventy-two. It has
had but one pastor during these years; has raised
and paid for current expenses during the past year
four thousand seven hundred and fifty-two dollars,
and for repairs and improvements on church prop-
erty five thousand one hundred and forty-one dol-
lars, making a total expenditure of nine thousand
eight hundred and ninety-three dollars. The esti-
mated value of their church property is one hun-
dred and thirty thousand dollars, subject to a mort-
gage of ten thousand five hundred dollars and a
floating debt of six hundred dollars, leavmg them
an equity in their property of one hundred and
eighteen thousand nine hundred dollars. The re-
sults exhibited have grown, under the blessing of
God, out of the following circumstances, viz : About
twenty years ago a few members of the Fifth
Avenue Baptist Church went on invitation, on
Sunday afternoons, to talk to a small congregation
of colored friends in an upper room in West Twenty-
sixth Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues.
Among these brethren was the late Sydney Root, of
Atlanta, Ga., who, having lived in the South, took
great interest in her children of African descent.
Mr. Root gained the entire confidence of the colored
friends at once, and soon learned that the majority
of them were members of Baptist churches in the
South, but, these churches having disbanded or
scattered during the Civil War, they did not know
how to procure letters of dismission. After much
correspondence with friends at the South, Mr. Root
succeeded in obtaining good letters for nineteen of
the number, who were shortly afterw^ard constituted
and recognized as a regular and independent Baptist
church, and called Mr. Wisher to become their pas-
tor, at a salary of twenty dollars a month. As this
was all they were able to pay. Brother Wisher was
forced to eke out a living by plying his calling as a
whitewasher. A better mutual arrangement could
not have been made. The little church stood nobly
by their pastor; the pastor was laboriously devoted
to his church, and the divine blessing followed him
in both his sacred and secular calling so long as
the latter continued to be necessary, which neces-
sity ceased many years ago. Mr. Wisher has been
ably assisted in church affairs by a faithful Board
of deacons, and in the management of financial
affairs by an able Board of trustees composed in part
of white brethren from other churches, and has thus
been free to give himself to prayer, the ministry of
the word, and the culture of his mind, in which, as
all who have listened to him in the pulpit or from
the platform know, his efforts have been as successful
as thorough. The Mount Olivet Church has been
and is as a ^^ tower of strength'^ to this advancing
and progressive race through the whole length and
breadth of our common country. Let God be
praised ! Many of our city churches of the colored
race may still be weak, but they are all stronger
than they would be but for the Mount Olivet Church.
THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 173
While the disturbances that have occurred since
the above was written afford humiliating evidence
of the remains of sin in our poor humanity, and are
to be deeply deplored, yet we believe the faithful
and self-sacrificing work which this church has done
for Christ and the people of their race in the past
will not be forgotten of God. The membership in
1898 is given as one thousand five hundred and
The Carmel Church. This church is situated at
One Hundred and Fifty-third Street, between Ave-
nues Second and Third, and was organized in 1882.
In 1884 reported as having one hundred and thirty-
five members, forty-six of whom were baptized
during the previous year. No pastor and no report
since that year.
The Day Star Church, Amsterdam Avenue, Rev.
A. B. Brown, pastor, organized in 1889, had one
hundred and three members in 1897, the present
number being one hundred and twenty-six.
The First Swedish . Church, Rev. E. F. Ekman,
pastor, was organized in 1867, in Colgate Chapel,
East Twentieth Street. It has worshiped for several
years in Twenty-seventh Street. Total number of
members in 1897, two hundred and eighty-six,
sixty-one of whom are non-resident. The present
membership is three hundred and six.
The First Italian Church, corner of Oliver and
Henry Streets, Rev. Agostino Dassori, pastor, was
organized in 1897. Present membership, seventy-
six, of whom thirteen were baptized during the
Shiloh Church, East One Hundred and Twenty-
fourth Street, between Lexington and Park Ave-
nues. Present number, one hundred and fifty-
seven. Pev. W. H. Slater, pastor. This church
was organized in 1875, and had, in 1897, seventy
Eagle Avenue Church, located on One Hundred
and Sixty-third Street, Rev. Henry Marschard, pas-
tor, was organized in 1895, with thirty-three mem-
bers. The Minutes of the Association for 1897
report this church as owning property estimated at
five thousand dollars, subject to a mortgage of two
thousand six hundred dollars. Present member-
Antioch Church, 34 West Thirty-second Street,
Rev. Granville Hunt, pastor. In 1896 the church
reported a membership of one hundred and twelve.
Present membership, one hundred.
Thessalonian Church, Morris Avenue and One
Hundred and Eighty-first Street, Rev. J. J. Rivers,
pastor. This church was organized in 1897, and
reports that year a membership of fourteen persons.
Present membership, twenty-two.
GERMAN BAPTIST CHURCHES.
First. This church, organized in 1846, was for
many years under the pastoral care of G. M.
Schulte, D. D. Its present pastor is Rev. G. A.
THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 175
Gunther. In 1897 the church reported to the
Association three hundred and twenty-one members.
It has a good meeting-house in Fourteenth Street,
near First Avenue, erected by the Church Exten-
sion Society of the Southern New York Baptist
Association. Its granite front was once the front
of the lecture-room of Doctor Cheever's church,
on Fifteenth Street and Broadway. When Doctor
Cheever's church edifice was torn down, the two
fagades were purchased by Mr. John W. Stevens,
who acted as chairman of the Church Extension
Committee. The Broadway front was used for
what is now the Mount Olivet Baptist Church, and
the Fifth Street front was used for the First Ger-
man Church. The present membership is three
hundred and twenty-one.
Second, located 407 West Forty-third Street, was
organized in 1885. In 1897 the church reported
two hundred and eighty-six members. Brother
Walter Rauschenbusch, who has recently accepted a
professor^s chair in the Rochester Theological Semi-
nary, ministered to this church eleven years. On
his removal the fjhurch called their present pastor,
Rev. Gottlieb Fetzer. The present membership is
two hundred and sixty-two.
Third, Morrisania, organized in 1857, celebrated
its fortieth anniversary in April, 1897; had then
one hundred and eight members, of whom nineteen
were baptized during the preceding yeer. Present
pastor, Rev. Reinhard Hoefflin.
First Harlem, located at 222 East One Hundred
and Eighteenth Street, between Avenues Second
and Third. Organized in 1894; has one hundred
and sixty-five resident and twenty-eight non-resident
members, while fifteen have been baptized and ten
received by letter the past year. The church has
paid a floating debt of one thousand dollars, but is
subject to a mortgage of twelve thousand dollars
held by the City Mission. Rev. R. T. Wagner,
Immanuel, located on the corner of Sixty-first
Street and Avenue One. Organized in 1 894 ; present
number of members seventy, of whom nine were
baptized in 1896. Rev. Charles Roth, pastor.
Sixty-seventh Street, located on Sixty-seventh
Street, near Avenue Tenth, has forty-two members.
Their late pastor met a terrible death some time in
1896. Since then Rev. Geo. N. Thomssen has
supplied their pulpit until some time during 1897.
STATEN ISLAND CHURCHES.
Park Church, Port Richmond, Rev. William
Morrison, pastor. This church was organized in
1841 as the North Church, Port Richmond. Mr.
Morrison, who has served the church since 1895, is
its sixteenth pastor. It reports in 1897 two hun-
dred and sixty-three resident and fifty-seven non-
resident members, and as having received six by
baptism and five by letter during the previous year.
Present membership, three hundred and thirty-one.
THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 177
South Church, Tottenville, Judson C. Hendrick-
son, pastor. This church, organized in 1859, has
had fourteen pastors. It reports to the Association
with ninety-nine members, nine of whom are non-
resident. Present membership, ninety-four.
Mariner's Harbor, Mariner's Harbor. Organized
in 1857. In 1897 it reported one hundred and
seventy-three resident and fifty-three non-resident
members. It has had twelve pastors, the present
pastor being Rev. Sidney Welton. Present num-
ber, two hundred and twenty-three.
West Church, Kreischerville. Organized in 1848.
It has had ten pastors. In 1896 it had twelve
members. In 1897 it had but nine, and had held
no services in the church during that year. It has
been without a pastor at least five years — how much
longer I cannot learn.
First Church, New Brighton, Rev. Daniel S.
Toy, pastor. This church began the year 1896
with fourteen members, with neither meeting-house
nor site on which to build one. It closed the year
1897 with seventy members, and was in possession
of one of the best building sites in the town, with a
prospect of soon entering the completed lecture-room
of a new church edifice. This work has been
effected, by the blessing of God, through the un-
tiring energy of the pastor and the large gifts of
one of the brethren. Deacon Saunders. Present
St. Philip's Church, Port Richmond, Rev. Wil-
liam Edwards, pastor. The church has at present
twenty-six members, ten of whom are non-resident.
This leaves a small constituency for Mr. Edwards,
who is their fifth pastor.
With but one omission the foregoing pages com-
prise all the information the writer is able to give
relating to the Baptist churches of New York City
and its immediate vicinity from 1835 to the present
time. The omission is the Madison Avenue Baptist
Church. This church was organized in 1848. In
1862 — as has been noted in a former chapter —
the Oliver Street Baptist Church sold its property
in Oliver Street with the purpose of assisting the
Madison Avenue Church to discharge certain pecu-
niary obligations then resting upon it, and with the
further purpose of uniting the two churches under
one name. For twenty years thereafter the churches
and congregations supposed to be thus united wor-
shiped together and were known as the Madison
Avenue Baptist Church. But, after the long liti-
gation referred to in Chapter IV. and the decision
of the court that no proper union had been effected
and that the party coming from Oliver Street had
no legal title either to the property or the name of
the Madison Avenue Church, the former party
removed and afterward organized as the Baptist
Church of the Epiphany, and the latter party in-
vited Rev. Dr. C. DeWitt Bridgeman to become
their pastor. Doctor Bridgeman was an able
preacher and much beloved by his people, but after
some years he resigned his pastorate and subse-
quently took orders in the Protestant Episcopal
Church. The Madison Avenue Church then called
and settled Henry M. Sanders, d. d., their present
distinguished and scholarly pastor. Present mem-
bership, three hundred and twenty-eight.
CHURCHES OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS
FIRST, Mount Vernon, Rev. W. A. Granger,
pastor. This church was organized in 1853.
It has a total membership of eight hundred and
two persons, of whom eighty-one are non-resident.
During the year (1897) its increase had been by
baptism, forty-three, and by letter, forty-one. The
church has had nine pastors, among the first of
whom was Rev. E. T. Hiscox, d. d., under whose
ministry a large congregation was gathered, and
many converts were baptized. Present member-
ship, eight hundred and forty-eight. It just occurs
to my recollection that Rev. Mr. Burnett preceded
Doctor Hiscox as pastor of this church.
First Church, White Plains, N. Y., Rev. J. J.
Gorham, pastor. This church was organized in
1870, and occupies a church edifice built by another
denomination. It was bought by Mr. James B.
Colgate, and presented to the American Baptist
Home Mission Society. The church has had nine
pastors, and the present membership is one hundred
Warburton Avenue Church, Yonkers, N. Y., Al-
vah S. Hobart, D. D., pastor. This church was or-
CHURCHES OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS 161
ganized in 1849, as the Mount Olivet Church. It
entertained the Hudson River Baptist Association,
South, at its annual meeting in 1854, while the late
Eev. D. Henry Miller was pastor, and when Rev.
J. L. Hodge preached the opening sermon and was
elected moderator. The Warburton Avenue Church
assumed its present name on entering its present
elegant church edifice in June, 1869. Doctor Ho-
bart, its eighth pastor entered on his pastorate in
1889. The church property, of the estimated value
of one hundred thousand dollars, and wholly un-
encumbered, was the gift of two of its members ;
John B. Trevor, who has passed away, and James
B. Colgate, who is living in Yonkers. Present
membership, five hundred and ninety-nine.
The Nepperhan Avenue Church, Yonkers, N. Y.,
Rev. Enos J. Bosworth, pastor. This church was
organized in 1891, and has three hundred and sixty-
one resident, and twenty-two non-resident members.
The pastor has baptized forty-one persons during
the past year. Present membership, three hundred
The Messiah Church, Yonkers, N. Y., was organ-
ized in 1867. In 1893 the church reported to the
Association as having forty-five members, under the
pastoral care of Rev. E. W. Roberts. JN^o report
The Pilgrim Church, West Farms, N. Y., Rev.
John Hooper, pastor. This church was organized
in 1858. Rev. Halsey Wo Knapp supplied the
pulpit gratuitously for a long time, since which
time the church has had seven pastors, including
Mr. Hooper, whose pastorate began in 1895. For
a long time the pulpit was supplied once on Sunday
by Brother William Jones, and other members of
the Lay-preaching Association. It reported to the
Association in 1898, as having fifty-five members.
Salem Church, New Rochelle, N. Y., Rev. B. G.
Stelle, pastor. This church was organized in 1849.
In 1897, the report to the Association represented
a total membership of two hundred and forty-two
persons, twenty-eight of whom were baptized the
past year. It has had fifteen pastors. The present
pastor has served two years. Present membership,
two hundred and thirty-eight.
The North Church, Port Chester, N. Y., Rev.
Wm. H. Bawden, pastor. This church w-as organ-
ized in 1865, and has one hundred and fifty-six
members. Mr. Bawden is the ninth pastor, and has
been with the church two years. Seven persons
w^ere baptized, and five received by letter, during
the past year.
The First Church, Suffern, N. Y., was organized
in 1842, as the Hempstead Baptist Church, and
took its present name in 1893. It has forty-one
members, twelve of whom are non-resident.
Immanuel Church, Williamsb ridge, N. Y., was
organized in 1883. No pastor. In 1897 it had
one hundred and sixty-three members. The present
membership is one hundred and seventy-two.
CHURCHES OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS 183
The Bethel Church, "White Plains, N. Y., was
organized in 1888. In 1894 this church reported
fifty-six members. No report since. George W.
Krygar is pastor.
The Bethesda Church, New Rochelle, N. Y., was
organized in 1890. In 1895 it reported to the
Association as having sixty-nine members, fourteen
of whom had been baptized during the previous
year by their pastor, T. H. Bayles. No report
Chappaqua Church, Chappaqua, N. Y., Erasmus
D. Garnsey, pastor. This church was organized in
1881. In 1897 it reported to the Association as
having thirty-eight resident and twenty-six non-
The Calvary Church, SufFern, N. Y., was organ-
ized in 1893, with ten members. Oscar A. Gage,
pastor. Mr. Gage served the church as pastor
about two years, during which the membership in-
creased to twenty. In 1896 the church reported
twenty-two members. In 1897 it had twenty mem-
bers. No pastor. It has since settled Rev. Robert
Duncan as pastor.
The Pilgrim Church, Nyack, N. Y., w^as organ-
ized in 1877. No report in the last five years.
First Church, Nyack, N. Y. This church was
organized in 1854. It reported in 1895 as having
two hundred and ninety-eight resident, and eighty-
four non-resident members, under the care of Ed-
ward M. Saunier, pastor. No report since.
Nanuet Church, Nanuet, N. Y., J. W. Cole,
pastor. This church was organized in 1794 and,
excepting the First Church, organized in 1762,
and the Church of the Epiphany, organized in
1791, is the oldest church in our Association. It
has at present thirty-six resident, and twenty-seven
non-resident members — an addition of four by bap-
tism and four by letter during the last year. Their
congregations are good, and they expect soon to put
improvements on their house of worship. During
one hundred and four years they have had twelve
pastors. Rev. Paul J. Lux served them faithfully
from 1892 to 1897, when he resigned to accept a
call from a church at Orange, N. J. He was suc-
ceeded by their present pastor. Rev. J. W. Cole.
The above concludes all I am able to relate of
the history of the churches of our Association since
1835. The following chapters will be devoted to
my recollections of our most prominent leaders and
DEACON WILLIAM COLGATE,
BAPTIST LEADERS OR LEADING BAPTISTS
IT seems to me there should be a distinction here
and yet I know not how to distinguish. Per-
haps it would be safe to say that some become
leaders all unconsciously, because their characters
are such that the people loill follow them; while
others are so endowed by nature with the highest
attributes of leadership, that the people must follow
them. Let each covet the best gifts and let those
who can say which they are. But let us never for-
get that our one leader is Christ.
Deacon William Colgate. First among New
York Baptists of his day, both in wealth and influence,
was Deacon William Colgate, of the Oliver Street
Church. Nature had endowed him with a comely
person, and the God of Nature had created in him
a gracious heart and an open hand, always ready for
every good work for the Christ he loved. His
wealth would not be considered great in these days,
and pales almost to insignificance beside the im-
mense fortunes which his sons have since accumu-
lated, and which — to their honor be it said — they
have used and are still using as their father used
his, to carry forward the Redeemer's kingdom on
the earth. Deacon William Colgate had not the
advantage of what is called a liberal education, but
he had what is often more useful, a liberal endow-
ment of practical sense, together with great knowl-
edge of men, and fine insight into character. He
took great interest in young men, a fact which
proved greatly to the advantage of the writer. He
seemed to know every man's attitude and value, and
the writer has often thought that if Deacon Colgate
had been trained to diplomacy, he would have had
few superiors in diplomatic circles, either at home
In 1839, Deacon Colgate transferred his church-
membership from the Oliver Street Church to the
newly constituted Tabernacle Church in Mulberry
Street, and it was here that the writer was privileged
to know him so well. While that church was con-
templating a removal from Mulberry Street to Sec-
ond Avenue, the writer — then a young man, but ac-
customed to taking part in the business meetings of
the church — strenuously opposed removal to any lo-
cality above Bleecker Street. After the chaste and
beautiful edifice on Second Avenue had been com-
pleted, the deacon and he happened to be standing
together in front of the building, and the former
asked the latter what he thought of the new house?
Nothing but praise could be uttered in response,
and the deacon continued, ^^Yes, we have much to
be thankful for ; but we have made a mistake in
BAPTIST LEADEES OR LEADING BAPTISTS 187
coming hereJ^ Of course the other thought so too,
and was pleased to hear the admission, but a curious
twinkle in the deacon's eye warned him there was
something more to come, and presently the deacon
added, " We ought to have gone to Thirtieth Street."
AVhat the younger man thought need not be recorded,
but the foresight of the older one was soon made
evident. Fifteen years later any Baptist would
have said, the Tabernacle Church ought to be in
Deacon Colgate had four sons : Robert, James B.,
Samuel, and Joseph. The last named died many
years ago in Europe where he had gone in quest of
health. Mr. Robert Colgate died within a few
years. He was a gentleman of refined tastes and a
liberal patron of art, and gave liberally to all Chris-
tian and benevolent enterprises. Mr. James B.
Colgate is still living, and is continually giving
munificently to the cause of Christ in numerous
ways. Mr. Samuel Colgate has recently passed on
to the better country. He gave freely of his large
fortune, not only to the university with which the
Colgate family is so fully identified, but also to the
support of home and foreign missions, and whatever
he believed tended to the advancement of the Re-
deemer's kingdom throughout the world. He gave
himself, his warm heart, his clear intellect, and his
physical strength, as a deacon, Sunday-school super- .
intendent, and teacher, in the church where he be-
To him also the denomination is indebted for a
most valuable historical library which he has gath-
ered with immense labor extending over many
years; and for its preservation, he has erected a
spacious hall in Colgate University grounds, thus
rendering its use convenient to all visitors through
Deacon Joshua Gilbert. No member or
former member of the Tabernacle Church who is
old enough to remember the work of Deacon Wil-
liam Colgate and his contemporaries in that church
when in Mulberry Street, will fail to recollect his
co-worker and brother-in-law, Joshua Gilbert. No
two men were more unlike in person and manner,
and at the same time more alike in consecration and
aim than these. The gentle and winning suavity of
William Colgate had no counterpart in the stern,
almost grim personality of Joshua Gilbert ; and yet
the latter concealed a heart as tender as a woman's,
and benevolence as far-reaching as the ties of human
brotherhood, and none really knew him without
^At a recent dinner of the alumni of Colgate Univer-
sity, Mr. James B. Colgate, the president of its Board of
trustees, said in substance: **It was founded in 1818, the
year in which I was born. It was organized with thirteen
members and thirteen dollars. The population of New
York City was then one hundred and fifty thousand. The
increase of the university has not kept pace with the in-
crease of population, but it has been quite satisfactory."
BAPTIST LEADERS OR LEADING BAPTISTS 189
Baptists have always loved Sunday-school work,
and many of the workers of the earlier, as well as
of a later day, achieved marked success as Sun-
day-school superintendents, — notably Deacons Isaac
Newton in Oliver Street, and William A. Cauldwell,
many years the superintendent of the Sunday-school
of Calvary Church. Doubtless hundreds, perhaps
thousands, whom they taught, are now teaching
Deacon John C. Baxter. In this work, per-
haps few have had a longer experience or have shown
a more natural adaptation than the late Deacon
John C. Baxter. I believe he was never absent
from any of the schools he superintended, even
through sickness; and he was never known to be
late! A somewhat strict disciplinarian, he could
not easily excuse either teacher or scholar who was
not so punctual as himself. He was frequently so-
licited to visit and address other schools when his
own was not in session, and on these occasions he
always had within memory's reach a fund of anec-
dote and information that interested all who heard
him. Doubtless the Sunday-school records of other
churches can show equally interesting facts, both
concerning the living and those who have passed on.
The church with which I have held my member-
ship for forty-six years cherishes the memory of
many, including Chas. T. Goodwin, Thomas Hoi-
] 90 REMINISCENCES
man, Benjamin F. Judson, and Chas. E. Willard,
who have gone to their rest. Of the living it is
not my purpose to write.
BAPTIST PREACHERS WHOM I HAVE HEARD.
From the Oliver Street and other metropolitan
pulpits of sixty years ago the writer had frequent
opportunities of hearing the ablest and most popular
Baptist preachers of the day, both contemporaries
and those called the " fathers.'^ Among the former
were Rev. Bartholomew T. Welch, then of Albany,
N. Y., an ardent, eloquent preacher, and especially
tender in prayer ; Dr. Daniel Sharp, then pastor of
Charles Street Church, Boston, Mass., over which
his pastorate lasted forty years. In his youth he
was baptized in Oliver Street Church, and was there
licensed to preach. Clear, forceful, and searching
were his sermons. I remember one from the text,
" Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright,''
which made many ears to tingle ! Dr. Baron Stow
was also from Boston. His style was chaste, ele-
gant, and full of discriminating thought. Dr. Rollin
H. Neale, likewise from Boston, was so charged
with magnetic power that he riveted the attention
of his hearers from his first utterance to the last
word of his discourse. A most lovable man, he
knew how to grow old gracefully, Drs. Richard
Fuller, John A. Broadus, and H. H. Tucker also
preached occasionally in our city pulpits. Eloquent
men all of them.
BAPTIST LEADERS OR LEADING BAPTISTS 191
Among the second class, the " fathers '^ in Israel
and the "pioneers'' in the ministry, were Alfred
Bennett and Nathaniel Kendrick, d. d., the latter
president of Hamilton Theological Seminary. As
a preacher Dr. Kendrick was at first slow of utter-
ance, but very sympathetic and tender. When he
had gotten half through his sermon he began to
warm up, and spoke rapidly and eloquently to its
close. It is said that his daughter, who often rode
with him when he was going somewhere to preach,
would sometimes laughingly say half an hour
before they reached the station : '^ Father, if you
begin now you will be just right when we reach the
church ! " Dr. Kendrick was rich in good works,
greatly beloved by all and venerated by the young
men who were students in and graduated from the
theological seminary over which he presided. He
visited our city once every year to solicit funds for
his institution, and on such occasions he never re-
Rev. Alfred Bennett likewise came every year to
advocate the cause of foreign missions. " Father
Bennett,'' as he was lovingly called, had a stal-
wart frame, a large, loving heart, and an eloquent
tongue. It was a benediction to hear him preach.
Then there was dear old " Father Peck," Elder
John Peck, with heart as gentle and pure as the
heart of a child. None could help loving him.
He visited our city churches once a year as the
agent of the State Convention. Every year he gave
US an affectionate farewell ! His advanced age and
feeble physique always favored the thought that the
present might be the last visit. The last visit did
come. I have forgotten in what year, but he died
in this city during one of his annual visits.
Among those who visited our churches once every
year to plead for foreign missions no one was more
widely known or more heartily welcomed than Kev.
Orin Dodge, and no one was so long "in the har-
ness.^' He was brief, clear, and earnest, but never
tedious, and never despondent. He was of a later
day than those already named.
Many distinguished visitors from Europe also
preached from time to time in our city pulpits.
During the year 1835, Rev. Drs. Cox and Hoby
visited America as a delegation from England, and
their presence awakened great interest in our
churches. Dr. Cox had an impressive personality.
I remember him distinctly as he walked up the
aisle of the Amity Street Church, in full clerical
costume of black knee-breeches, silk stockings, low
shoes, and large silver buckles, to deliver an address
from Dr. Williams' pulpit.
Among the visitors from England who came to
us at a later date were Hugh Stowell Brown, Dr.
Chown, of Bradford, aud other excellent preachers
whose names I do not now recall. While writing
the above of distinguished American preachers I
omitted to name one of the most famous, the widely
known evangelist. Elder Jabez Swan. He was an
BAPTIST LEADERS OR LEADING BAPTISTS 193
able and eloquent man, and seems to have been
among Baptists what I suppose Rev. Chas. G. Fin-
ney was among Congregationalists. Rev. Dr. Thos.
J. Conant, the eminent Hebrew scholar, so long
engaged in revising the English Scriptures for the
American Bible Union, always addressed the union
at its anniversaries, but I never heard him preach.
Perhaps this is as fitting a place as may offer to
pay a passing tribute to the memory of some noble
Baptists, both ministers and laymen, whose names
have been hitherto omitted or too briefly noticed,
and who are now gone to the better country. Among
the servants of Christ who have recently passed
away there have been few or none whose memory
will be more lovingly and deservedly cherished
than the late Halsey W. Knapp, D. D. Dr. Knapp
was a unique figure in the Baptist history of our
day. In addition to an impressive personality, a
general attractive manner and unflagging energy,
he possessed extraordinary capacity for business,
which he conducted with such ability, integrity, and
success that he had acquired a considerable fortune
even before his conversion — rather restoration, for
he had been brought to Christ in his youth, but had
lived the life of a worldling for many years. From
the hour of his gracious restoration the current of
his life found a new channel. His business was
conducted with his wonted enthusiasm, but for a
different end. From early dawn until noon daily
his business in Washington Market (where he dealt
in poultry and game) required and received his con-
stant attention, and in all this he served Christ in
temporal things. The rest of his time and talents
were devoted to higher duties. Although only a
layman, he was found Sunday after Sunday preach-
ing the glad tidings of Christ wherever he found an
open door, either supplying feeble churches or
gathering new congregations where no church had
yet been planted, always preaching out of a full
heart and with such a flow of natural eloquence as
delighted his audiences, and, by divine blessing,
won many souls to God.
Mr. Knapp^s success in this work made such an
impression on his brethren then occupying our city
pulpits that they desired to see him regularly in-
ducted into the ministry, and a council of Baptist
churches was called to consider the matter of his
ordination. The findings of the council were :
First, that Mr. Knapp should be ordained.
Second, that he should continue to conduct his
Mr. Knapp accepted the advice of the council,
continuing to give personal attention to business in
the forenoon and devoting the balance of his time
to preparations for the pulpit and the exercises of the
pastoral office. He became pastor successively of
the Pilgrim Church, at West Farms; the Pilgrim
Church, West Thirty-third Street; the Laight
Street, and other Baptist churches, serving each
without salary, and giving largely from his own
BAPTIST LEADERS OR LEADING BAPTISTS 195
private resources. Only when the disastrous failure
of some of his largest customers heavily indebted to
him rendered it absolutely necessary did he ask or
receive any pecuniary compensation !
Surely, it may properly be said of such a charac-
ter, " It is unique ! "
A CLOSING WORD
TO make a record of all the honored Baptist min-
isters and laymen, who at one time or another
have had New York City for the field of their
activities as journalists, presidents, secretaries,
church officials, Sunday-school superintendents, and
men of business, would swell these reminiscences
much beyond their intended limits. All that will
be attempted, therefore, is to recall a few names of
those who, having served their generation in one or
more of these departments of labor, have passed on
to serve in a higher sphere.
Among those who have edited Baptist journals in
New York City since the '^ Baptist Advocate '' was
first issued May 11, 1839, older Baptists will remem-
ber William H. Wyckoff, Martin B. Anderson, Sewall
S. Cutting, Orin B. Judd, A. S. Patton, Nathan
Brown, Pharcellus Church, John W. Olmstead, Jay
S. Backus, and perhaps others, all of whom, if I am
not mistaken, have passed from the employments of
earth, or they would not be mentioned here ; yet
their well-known faces seem more easily recalled
than those of some whom I met but yesterday.
It would savor of presumption to say, or even per-
A CLOSING WOED 197
haps to suggest, which of the above-named able
men merited the second place in editorial ranks ;
but few, probably, will question that the late Dr.
Edward Bright, editor of "The Examiner,'^ was,
in his day, entitled to, and accorded, the highest
Among those who have served our several socie-
ties with distinguished ability as secretaries, the
names of Benjamin M. Hill, Wm. H. Wyckoff,
Sewall S. Cutting, and Nathan Bishop, will not
soon be forgotten. Yet the self-sacrificing labors of
Doctor Bishop who, in a period of great financial
stress, served the American Baptist Home Mission
Society for two consecutive years without salary,
and during the same period, gave the Society thirty
thousand dollars from his own and Mrs. Bishop^s
private resources, surely merits the highest praise,
and should cause him to be remembered as the most
public-spirited, as he had long been accounted the
"foremost. Baptist layman ^^ of his day — a day in
which Geo. H. Andrews, Wm. A. Cauldwell, Sam-
uel S. Constant, L. P. Bayne, Charles L. Colby,
William Phelps, and a host of others, worthy com-
peers in Christian work, were bestowing their wealth,
and devoting all their mental and physical energy
to the service of the Master, in our own city first,
and then in the regions beyond.
While thinking of other leading Baptist laymen
who have passed into the unseen within my recol-
lection, — some of them many, many years ago, —
memory brings back the once familiar features of
John R. Ludlow, a retired merchant, a man of
wealth and cultured intellect, who (like some al-
ready named, but who belonged to a later gener-
ation) was once spoken of as " the foremost Baptist
layman of his day.^^
Then arises before my mind a host, some belong-
ing to a little later day, and others to a day later
still, but each with a vividness that causes it to
seem but yesterday that they were part of our life,
aiding in our religious work, counseling in our per-
plexities, taking part in our Associational meetings,
often stirring us to action by their eloquence, and
helping to shape the policy of our churches and de-
Among them I seem to behold again the once
familiar forms and faces of Peter Balen, Peter and
Wm. T. Anderson, John N. Wyckoff, Charles A.
Baldwin, Richard Hunt, Richard Peterson, Benja-
min Reynolds, Samuel Barstow, Andrew Swaney,
and others, some of them in the Cannon Street, and
others, members of the Norfolk Street Church, in
which Brethren Hunt, Peterson, Baldwin, Reynolds,
and Samuel Barstow were at one time trustees, while
Andrew Swaney was a deacon.
In another group I remember Humphrey Phelps,
James Cowan, Wm. D. Mangam, Isaac Lewis, R. C.
Ackerley, Willard Phelps, and Andrew Middleton,
all members of the Stanton Street Church. In an-
other group, memory recalls, besides some mentioned
A CLOSING WORD 199
elsewhere, Garrett N. Bleecker, Isaac Newton, Wm.
D. Murphy, Nathan C. Piatt, Ebenezer Cauldwell,
Samuel Raynor, Ervin H. Tripp (who always stood
during prayer, although that ancient custom had
long since passed away), and Captain A. W. Wel-
den, most or all of whom were in the Oliver Street
In yet another group, were John C. Overhiser,
Benjamin Pike, Benjamin Pike, Jr., Daniel Pike,
George T. Hope, George C. Germond, R. J. Brad-
ford, and C. C. Backus, who has just passed on. I
think most of the last-named group were, at one
time or another, members of the Amity Baptist
But I must hasten to bring these reminiscences to
an end, and perhaps I cannot prepare the way to
do so better than by presenting my readers with a
retrospective view of the old church in Mulberry
Street as I first knew it in 1839, as the Tabernacle
Baptist Church. It embraced a truly remarkable
body of men, leaders and workers ; men of age,
large experience, and mental power, supplemented
and supported by men in the prime of life, and by
a yet larger number possessing all the zeal and ardor
In the first class (besides Deacons William Col-
gate and Joshua Gilbert, already named) stood
Deacon William Winterton, a man of great energy
and executive talent ; David T. Valentine, a his-
toric figure, prominent in civic as well as in church
life, more than thirty years clerk of the Common
Council of New York City, and editor of the " Cor-
poration Manual/^ He was a man of noble pres-
ence whom, having seen once, one could never for-
get. Side by side with the above-named stood
Wm. Goadly, Abram Knight, Thomas Day, and
others, who had belonged to the old Mulberry Street
Church before the Tabernacle was organized. Next
came Deacons Wm. M. McCutchen and Charles AY.
Houghton, who came with the West Baptist Church ;
then James G. Whipple, Deacon Samuel Shardlow,
John and Bowles Colgate, Avery Brumley, John
Barker, Eldredge Yandewerken, Joseph F. Sanxay,
Wm. B. Bradbury, leader of the choir, and Joseph
B. Hoyt, afterward treasurer of the American Bap-
tist Home Mission Society. Among the younger
men, were David Sloan, Richard J. Larcomb,
Henry G. Leask, and Thomas Rafferty, all active
workers in various departments, and last, but by no
means least in spiritual attainments, was the God-
fearing Bible student and faithful sexton, Joseph
Among the beloved brethren who have been
taken from us since the days of which I have just
written, memory calls for a loving tribute to many
Avhose names must be omitted for want of space.
But we must not omit to mention Deacon Chas. T.
Goodwin, Geo. H. Andrews, Benjamin F. Judson,
and more recently, Chas. L. Colby, Samuel T. and
George Washington Hillman, De AYitt C. Hays,
A CLOSING WORD 201
Joseph Brokaw, Robt. G. Cornell, Chas. T. Evans,
Frederick Hornby, John P. Townsend, Edward Col .
gate, Howard F. Randolph, David W. Manwaring,
and John W. Gilbough, most of them office-bearers,
and all of them highly esteemed and much loved
members of their respective churches, men whom
their pastors and brethren especially and continually
But memory goes still farther back, and recalls
the venerated forms of Deacons Thomas Garniss,
Thomas Purser, Jacob Smith, Roger Pegg, Robert
Edwards, and their compeers and contemporaries.
These all "served their own generation and fell on
sleep.^' We would not wish them canonized. Their
many virtues, like those of their successors in the
present day, were mixed with human frailties ; their
judgments were not so perfect that they made no
mistakes ; they certainly were not infallible ; but they
were noble. God-fearing men, and while we rejoice
in the thought that they are now reaping their re-
ward in heaven, we also thank God for the work
they did on earth.
But were the former times better than these?
No ! God has as faithful servants yet on earth as
those he has taken to heaven. But of these it is
not my purpose to write. They too will "serve
their generation and fall on sleep,^' and another, and
doubtless an abler pen, will chronicle their deeds.
My task is done. May God accept it to his own
glory for Christ's sake. Amen.
IT was the intention of the writer to close the fore-
going reminiscences with the twenty-seventh
anniversary of the Southern New York Baptist
Association, held with the Hope Baptist Church,
October 12-14, 1897. He has however concluded
to add the following : The Association met in the
new and elegant edifice of the Washington Heights
Church, on the corner of Convent Avenue and One
Hundred and Forty-fifth Street. The sessions were
unusually well attended and were full of interest
from beginning to end ; but the crowning event was
the formal dedication of the church edifice to the
worship of Almighty God. Many able and in-
tensely interesting addresses were made, and the
dedicatory prayer by the pastor, Rev. B. B. Bos-
worth, was listened to in solemn and reverential
Brooklyn Churches. A friend asks me if I do
not intend to include the Baptist churches and pas-
tors of Brooklyn in my reminiscences. I am re-
luctantly compelled to answer in the negative.
First, because such a work should be done, if done
at all, by some member of the Long Island Asso-
ciation to which those churches and pastors belong ;
and secondly, because such a work, if I should un-
dertake it, would not be a record of memories, but
a mere collection of reports and a very imperfect
one. There are, however, several among the de-
parted, and two or three perhaps among the living,
who were at one time or other, members of the New
York or the Hudson River Associations before the
Long Island Association was formed ; and of these
I may properly write.
Of the departed, Rev. E. E. L. Taylor came to
Brooklyn in 1839, having just graduated from
Hamilton, where he was a fellow-student with Rev.
Wm. W. Everts, who had just been called to the
Tabernacle Church, then in Mulberry Street. Doc-
tor Taylor's work in Brooklyn, where he was pastor
successively of the Pearl Street, the Pierrepont
Street, and the Strong Place Churches, was very
successful. With the last named, he closed his pub-
lic ministry. Dr. J. Monroe Taylor, the accom-
plished president of Vassar College, is a son of Dr.
E. E. L. Taylor.
The late Dr. Hiram Hutchins, for nearly forty
years pastor of the East Brooklyn Church on
Bedford Avenue, and Rev. Dr. John W. Sarles,
whose golden jubilee, marking the close of fifty
years in the gospel ministry, was celebrated two
years ago at Stelton, N. J., were both at one time,
with the churches to which they ministered, mem-
bers of the New York Baptist Association. Doctor
Sarles commenced his ministry with the Bridge
Street Church, Brooklyn, in 1847, and continued
there until 1879, when he resigned to accept the
pastorate of the Piscataway Church at Stelton, where
he still resides.
Both Doctor Hut chins and Doctor Sarles were
firm friends and active members of the American
Bible Union from its formation in 1850, working
side by side until the death of the former. The
latter is now its vice-president. D. C. Hughes, D. D.,
who is corresponding secretary of the American
Bible Union, was some years ago pastor of the
Trinity Church, Fifty-fifth Street, New York, and
of course a member of the Southern New York
Baptist Association, and is so far as I know, the
only Brooklyn pastor standing in like relation,
except Rev. Dr. Robert Bruce Hull, and he has
already been mentioned among the pastors of the
Tabernacle Church of this city.
I trust this will be accepted by my many Brook-
lyn friends as a sufficient apology for not including
their churches and pastors in my reminiscences.
G. H. H.
New York, January, 1899.
Abbott, Lyman, 138.
Abyssinian Church, 7, 25, 26.
Acton, Hon. Thos. C, 132, 133.
Adams, Jed E., 162.
Adams, Rev. John Quincy, 49, 157.
Alexander Avenue Church, 166.
Alexandria, Va., Church, 20.
All Angels' Chapel, 153.
Alman, Rev. Samuel, 129-131, 163-
American Baptist Home Mission
Society, 180, 197, 200.
American Baptist Missionary
American Bible Union, 15, 87, 151,
American and Foreign Bible So-
Amity Street Church, 7, 53-58, 192.
Amity Street Church Officials, 199.
Anderson, Martin B., ll. d., 196.
Anderson, Thomas D., d. d., 102,
150, 152, 153.
Andrews, Hon. Geo. H., 74, 98, 101.
Angell, Rev. Henry, 154, 155.
Anniversary Committee of the
Fifth Avenue Church, 104.
Anniversary Committee of Stanton
Street Church, 102.
Antioch Church, 174.
Archer, Ezekiel, 9.
Armitage, Thomas, D. D., 73, 74, 75,
76-79, 86-88, 90, 92, 94. 96-146.
Ascension Church, 162, 163.
Attercliffe Common, 110.
Avery, Rev., 161.
Backus, Rev. Jay S., 60, 159, 196.
Bailey, Rev. G. W., 170.
Ballard, Rev. Joseph, 162.
Barnard, Rev. Joseph, 61.
'* Baptist Advocate," 196.
" Baptist Church Directory," 46.
" Baptist Ministers' Home," 60.
Baptist Sunday-school Union, 85.
Barrett, Rev. Luther G., 157.
Barstow, Rev. Jonathan, 165.
Barstow, Samuel, 198.
Bawden, Rev. Wm. H.. 158.
Baxter, Dea. John C, 189.
Bayles, Rev. T. H., 183.
Beckley, John T., d. d., 34.
Beedle, Rev. Samuel, 110.
Bellamy, Rev. David, 43, 44.
Bellezane, Wreck of the, 16, 17.
Beman, Mr. Warren, 97.
Benedict, Rev. George, 7, 42, 72,
Bennett, Rev. Alfred, 191.
Berean Church, 156, 157.
Bernard, Rev. David, 59.
Beth Eden Church, 170.
Bethel Church, 9, 42.
Bethel Church, White Plains, N.
Bethesda Church, 158, 159.
Bethesda Church, New Rochelle,
N. Y., 183.
Bible Revision, 87, 88, 151.
Bishop, Nathan, ll. d.. 197.
Bishop, Mrs. Nathan, 161.
Bitting, Rev. Wm. C, 106, 161.
Bloomingdale Church, 156.
Bonham, Rev. J. W., 94.
Bostwick, J. A., 104, 111, 112, 114,
117, 136, 145, 146, 148, 164, 165.
Bosworth, Rev. Boardman B., 47,
Bosworth, Rev. Enos J., 181.
Bridgeman, C. De Witt, D. D., 120,
121, 178, 179.
Bridge Street Church, Brooklyn,
N. Y., 203.
Bright, Dr. Edward, 105, 149, 197.
Broadus, John A., D. D., 106, 190.
Brokaw, Dea. Joseph, 154.
Bronk, Rev. Mitchell, 163.
Brooklyn Churches, 202.
Broome Street Church, 7, 61.
Brouner, Rev. Jacob H., 7, 49, 51, 79.
Brouner, Rev. John J., 50-52.
Brown. Rev. A. B., 173.
Brown, Hugh Stowell, 192.
Brown, Nathan, 196.
Brown University, 149.
Buckland, Rev. R. J. W., 44.
Buckley, Rev. J. M., 139.
Bull's Head Cattle Market, 93.
Burlingham, A. H., D. c, 37.
Burnett, Rev., 180.
Bun, Stephen H., 162.
Burchard, Rev. S. D., 102.
Calvary Church, 10, 44, 45, 189.
Calvary Church, Albany, N. Y., 33.
Calvary Church, SufEern, N. Y.,
Campbell, Rev. J. L., 166.
Cannon Street Church, 61.
Cannon Street Church Officials,
Carmel Church, 173.
Carte, Mrs., 168, 169.
Castle, Rev., 166.
Cauldwell, Dea. Wm. A., 161, 189.
Central Church, 156.
Central Church Officers, 156.
Central Park Church (first one),
Central Park Church (second one),
Chambers, Rev. T. W., 138.
Chappaqua Church, Chappaqua,
N. Y., 183.
Chinese Work, 168, 169.
Chase, Rev. Johnson, 7, 8, 40.
Choules, Rev. John O., 154.
Chown, Doctor, 192.
Christian Church, 72.
Church Extension Society of the
Southern N. Y. Assoc, 174.
Church of the Redeemer, 167, 168.
Church of the Seceders, 12.
Church, Pharcellus, d. d., 196.
City Mission Society, 51, 71, 85, 169.
Cleghorn, Rev. A., 50,
Clinch, Edward S., 162.
Colby, Chas. L., 125-127.
Cole, Rev. J. W., 184.
Coger, Rev. M. G.,161.
Colgate Chapel, 173.
Colgate, Dea. W^m., 62, 64,18&-187,
Colgate, James B., 180, 181, 187, 188.
Colgate, Joseph, 187.
Colgate, Robert, 187.
Colgate, Samuel, 187, 188.
Colgate, Rev. Samuel. Jr., 165.
Colgate University, 188.
Combs, Mr. Samuel B., 3.
Comey, Dea. J. F., 128.
Conant, Rev. Thos. J., 193.
Cone, Rev. Spencer H., 3, 5, 7, 15,
17, 19-22, 72, 1.50-152.
Cooper, Dea. Wm., 150.
Cooper Union, 2.
Coray, E. A., 96.
Corey, Rev. Sidney A., 168.
"Corporation Manual," 200.
Covel, Rev. Lemuel, 27, 154, 155.
Cox, Rev. Hanson S., 68, 192.
Crane, Rev. E. F., 154, 155.
Crandall, Rev. L. A., 46, 47.
Crosby, Dr. Howard, 118, 119, 120.
Cutting, Sewall S., D. D., 196, 197.
Dassori, Rev. Agostino, 173.
David, 106, 108.
Davies, Rev. Philip L., 157.
Davis, Rev. Henry, 61.
Day, Rev. Henry S., 111.
Day, John, 59.
Day Star Church, 173.
Deems, Rev. Chas. F., 139.
Delauey, Dr., 108.
Dixon, Rev. Thomas, 47.
Dodge, Rev. Daniel, 3.
Dodge, Jeremiah, 9.
Dodge, Rev. John, 9.
Dodge, Rev. Orin, 192.
Dovvling, Rev. John, 5, 18, 44, 63,157.
Dubois, Rev. James, 154, 155.
Dunbar, Rev. Duncan, 7, 35.
Duncan, Rev. Robert, 183.
Eagle Avenue Church, 174.
Earle, Rev. A. B., 96.
East Church, 7, 61.
East Brooklyn Church, Brooklyn,
N. Y., 203.
Eastman, Rev. Samuel, 41.
Eddy, Rev. H. J., 61.
Edwards, Robert, 28.
Edwards, Rev. William, 178.
Ekman, Rev. E. F., 173.
Elder. Rev. J. F., 33, 102.
Emmanuel Church, 129, 131, 163-
English. Rev. J. B., 170.
Epiphany Church, 33, 34, 169, 178.
Everts, Rev. Wm. W., 63, 64, 68, 79,
Ewing, Rev. Greville, 12.
" The Examiner," 197.
Faunce, W. H. P., d. d., 147-149.
Fayette Street Church, 9.
Fetzer, Rev. Gottlieb, 175.
Fifth Avenue Church, 95-134, 143-
149, 164, 165, 171.
Fifth Avenue Pulpit Committee,
Fifth Church, Philadelphia, 153.
Fifty-third Street People's Church,
First Church, 3, 7, 8, 24, 25, 150-
First Church, Albany, N. Y., 60.
First Church, Brooklyn, N. Y., 60,
First Church, Chicago, 111., 27.
First Church of Harlem, 161.
First Church, Mount Vernon, N.Y.,
First Church, New Brighton, S. I.,
First Church of North New York,
First Church, Nyack, N. Y., 183.
First Church, Stamford, Conn., 70.
First Church, Suffern, N. Y., 182.
First Church, White Plains, N. Y.,
First German Church, 174, 175.
First Harlem German Church, 176.
First Italian Church, 173, 174.
First Mariner's Church, 160, 161.
First Swedish Church, 173.
Fiske, Gen. Clinton B., 133.
"Forty Years," 106-111.
Francis, Rev. James A., 71, 169, 170.
Fuller, Rev. Andrew, 117.
Fuller, Rev. Richard, 190.
Gage, Rev. Oscar A., 183.
Garniss, Dea. Thomas, 9, 20.
Garnsey, Rev. Erasmus D., 183.
German Churches, 174-176.
Gessler, Rev. T. K., 167.
Gibbs. Rev. John W., 40, 49.
Gilbert, Dea. Joshua, 188.
Gillette, Rev. A. D., 44.
Goodchild. Rev. F. M., 156.
Goodwin, Mr. Frank J., 128.
Goodwin, Charles T., 89, 92, 98, 101,
Gorham, Rev. J. J., 180.
" The Gospel Witness," 3.
Grace Church (first one), 48, 167.
Grace Church (second one), 166,
Granger, Rev. W. A., 180.
"Great Fire," 18.
Grenell, Rev. Zelotes, 61.
Gunning, Dr. J. H., 115, 122.
Gunther, Rev. G. A., 174, 175.
Hague, Rev. William, 30, 93.
Haldane, Robert, 12, 13.
Haldeman, Rev. I. M., 153, 154.
Hall, Rev. John, 102, 139, 140, 141.
Hall, Rev. Robert, 117.
Hamilton Theological Seminary,
Hansen, George H., 89, 92, 98, 101,
Hartley, Rev. Richard, 163.
Harris, Thomas R., 156.
Hastings, Rev. Thomas, 137, 140.
Hatt, Rev. George, 69.
Hempstead Church, Suffern, N. Y.,
Hendrickson, Rev. Judson C, 177.
Herr, Rev. J. D., 156.
Higgins, Sandy, 89.
Hill, Benjamin M., 197.
Hillman, Dea. William, 150, 151.
Hillman, George W., 82.
Hiscox, Edward T., D. D., 45. 46. 180.
Hiscox, Rev. H. O., 46.
History of the Fifth Avenue Bap-
tist Church, 73.
"History of the Stanton Street
Hobart, Alvah S., d. d., 180, 181.
Hoby, Dr., 192.
Hodder, Rev. A. W., 60, 61.
Hodge, Rev. James L., 7, 37, 59, 60,
Hoe, Rev. Beniah, 63.
Hcefflin, Rev. Reinhard, 175.
Holloway, Rev. Edwin S., 38.
Holman, Thomas, 89.
Holme, Rev. J. S., 70, 168.
Hooper, Rev. John, 181, 182.
Hopkins, Rev. C. J., 158.
Hope Church, 163, 202.
•' Hope Chapel Congregation," 43,
Hope Chapel Church, Leaders in
Organization of, 43, 44.
Hoyt, Wayland, d. d., 71.
Hudson, Rev., 166.
Hudson River Association, 41, 79,
Hudson River Association, South,
Hughes, Rev. D. C, 204.
Hull, Rev. Robert Bruce, 71, 204.
Hunt, Rev. Granville, 174.
Hutching, Rev. Hiram, 203, 204.
Illsley, Rev. Silas, 72.
Immanuel Church, Williams-
bridge, N. Y., 182.
Immanuel German Church, 176.
Interdenominational Letter Sign-
Isaacs, Wm. M., 161.
Jackson, Rev. Aaron, 49.
Johnson, Rev. W. F., 170.
Jones, Rev. Howard L., 34.
Jones, Rev. Peter F., 162.
Jones, Samuel, 9.
Jones, William, 182.
Judd, Rev. Orin B., 159, 196.
Judson, Adoniram, 114, 157.
Judson, Dea. Benj. F., 98, 102, 104,
105, 147, 164, 190.
Judson, Rev. Edward, 114, 115, 157,
Jutten, Rev. David B., 60.
Kendrick, Rev. J. R., 70.
Kendrick, Rev. Nathaniel, 191.
Kennard, Rev. J. Spencer, 38, 127.
King, Rev. J. M., 139.
Knapp, Rev. E. E., 167, 168.
Knapp, Rev. Halsey W., 37, 38, 181,
Knapp, Rev. Jacob, 64-68.
Knapp, Rev. Samuel J., 37, 46, 159.
Krygar, Rev. Geo. W., 183.
Laight Street Church (first one),
68, 163, 194.
Laight Street Church (second one),
Landor, Walter Savage, 115.
Lathrop, Rev. Edward, 69, 70.
Lawson, Dea. L. M., Ill, 112, 113,
123, 124, 146.
Lawson, Miss Louise, 111, 114.
Lay -preaching Association, 78-85,
Lay-preaching Association Mem-
Leavell, Rev. W. H., 46.
Lexington Avenue Church, 166.
"Life of Spencer H. Cone," 19, 21
List of City Churches in 1835, 7.
Long Island Association, 202, 203.
Ludlow, John R., 198.
Lux, Rev. Paul J., 184.
Lyon, Roger H., 24.
MacArthur, Robert Stuart, d. d.,
44, 45, 116-118.
Macdougal Street Church, 35.
Maclay, Rev. Archibald, 7, 11-17,
40, 41, 87.
"Maclay Memorial," 11.
MacMurray, Rev. D. A., 169.
Madison Avenue Church, 30, 31,
96, 178, 179.
Madison Avenue Committee on
Magoon, Rev. E. L., 28, 29.
Mariner's Harbor Church, Mari-
ner's Harbor, 177.
Mariner's Temple Church, 60, 161,
Marschard, Rev. Henry, 174.
Mason, Col. Joel W., 129.
McKean, Rev. John A., 157.
Melrose Mission Society, 163.
Memorial Church of Christ, 15&-
Messiah Church, Yonkers, N. Y.,
Middleton, Rev. John, 7.
Mikels, Rev. Wm. S., 60.
Miller, Rev. D. Henry, 124, 125, 134,
Miller, Rev. Wm. G., 7.
Mitchell, Dr., 5, 6.
Moore, Rev. Halsey, 166.
Morningside Church, 169.
Morrison, Rev. Wm., 176.
Mott, Richard, 156.
Mount Gilead Chiirch, 170.
Mount Morris Church, 161, 162.
Mount Olivet Church, 34, 131, 170-
173, 175, 181.
Mulberry Street Church, 7, 10, 14,
15, 17, 39.
Murch, Rev., 165.
Nanuet Church. Nanuet, N.Y., 184.
Neale, Rev. Rollin H., 190.
Nepperhan Avenue Church, Yon-
kers, N. Y., 181.
Newton, Dea. Isaac, 28, 189.
New York Association, 79, 152.
" New York Chronicle," 159.
" New York Herald," 67.
" New York Recorder," 162.
Niles, Mr. L. H., 128.
Noe, Deacon, 40, 41.
Norfolk Street Church, 42, 71-75,
78, 86-95, 110, 129, 162.
Norfolk Street Church Officials,
Norfolk Street Church Committee
on Location, 92.
Norfolk Street Church List of Dea-
North Beriah Church, 7, 35, 156,
North Church, 7, 36, 49-52.
North Church, Port Chester, N. Y.,
North Church, Port Richmond, N,
Norton, Rev. C. C, 29, 137, 154, 155,
Nott, Rev. A. Kingman, 151, 152.
Oliver Street Churcb, 3, 4, 7, 8, 14,
19-23, 27-33, 53, 62, 178, 185, 189.
Oliver Street Church Committee
on Union, 30.
Oliver Street Church Officials, 199.
Olmstead, John W., 196.
Oncken, John G., 160.
Osborne, Rev. A. C, 37.
Osgood, Howard, d. d., 29, 49, 50.
Park Church, Port Richmond, N.
Parkinson, Rev. Wm., 7, 24, 25,
Parmely, Rev. D. S., 159.
Patton, Rev. A. S., 196.
Patton, Rev. J. Ferris, 163.
Pearl Street Church, Albany, N.
Pearl Street Church, Brooklyn, N.
Peck, Doctor, 54, 56.
Peck, James M., 38.
Peck, Rev. John, 191, 192.
Peddie, Rev. John, 153.
Pegg, Roger, 28.
Pell, Dea. W. T., 128.
Peltz, Rev. G. A., 38.
Pendleton, Rev. Wm. H., 61, 159.
People's Church, 163.
Perkins, Rev. Aaron, 156, 157.
Pierrepont Street Church, Brook-
Pilgrim Church, 38, 167, 194.
Pilgrim Church, Nyack, N. Y., 183.
Pilgrim Church, West Farms, N.
Y., 181, 182, 194.
Piscataway Church, Stelton, N. J.,
Plummer, Mr. J. F., 112, 122, 134.
Plymouth Church, 37, 38.
Pogson, Rev. Matthew H., 60.
Pontefract, 108, 109.
Potter, Bishop Henry C, 138.
Potter, Rev. Daniel C, 71, 121, 154,
Purser, Thomas, 28.
Putnam, Mrs. A. C, 60, 160.
Putnam, Rev. James W., 168.
Rabbit-warren Church, 4.
Rauschenbusch, Rev. Walter, 175.
Raymond, Rev. Lewis, 90.
Raymond, Rev. John T., 7, 26.
Remington, Rev. Frank, 49.
Remington, Rev. Stephen, 45.
Reid, Dea. J. D., 89, 101, 104, 122.
Rhodes, Rev. Christopher, 46.
Rivers, Rev. J. J., 174.
Riverside Church, 71, 169, 170.
Roberts, Rev. E. W., 181.
Rochester Theological Seminary,
Rockefeller, John D., 124, 125.
Root, Sidney, 171, 172.
Roth, Rev. Charles, 176.
Rutgers Institute, 86.
Sabine, Rev. Wm. T., 138.
Salmon, H. H., 38.
Salem Church, New Rochelle, N.
Samson, Rev. Geo. W., 58.
Sanders, Rev. Henry M., 106, 138,
Sarles, Rev. JohnW., 203.
Saunders, Dea., 177.
Saunier, Rev. Edward M., 183.
Scott. Rev. J. W., 26, 166.
Schulte.Rev. G. M., 174.
Seaman's Bethel, 160.
Second Avenue Church, 170.
Second Church (Chrystie Street),
Second Church (Bowery), 7.
Second Church, Chicago, 111., 153.
Second Church of Harlem, 166.
Second Church, Providence, R. I.,
Second Church, Rochester, N. Y.,
Second German Church, 175.
Second Mission Church, 163.
Seeley, Rev. John T., 154, 155.
Seton, Mr. W. S., 35.
Sharon Church, 170.
Sharp, Rev. Daniel, 190.
Sheldon, Dea. Smith, 154.
Shiloh Church, 174.
Simmons, Rev. James B., 104, 168.
Sixteenth Church, 7, 59-61.
Sixth Street Church, 29, 154, 155.
Sixty-seventh Street German
Skelding, Deacon, 37.
Slater, Rev. W. H.. 174.
Smith, Rev. C. Billings, 154, 155.
Smith, Mr. Isaac Townsend, 160.
Smith, Jacob, 28.
Smith, Rev. J. Cotton, 102.
Smith, Rev. Robert Bruce. 170.
Smith, S. F., D. c, 104.
Smith, Dr. T. Franklin, 162.
Somers, Rev. Chas. G., 7, 36, 37, 40,
41, 72, 79.
South Church, 7, 36-38.
South Church, Tottenville, 177.
Southern New York Association,
26, 85, 151, 202.
Spelman, Rev. Wm., 7, 25, 26.
Spurgeon, C. H., 118.
Stanton Street Church : 7, 39-48, 72 ;
constituent members, 40; offi-
State Convention, 191.
Staten Island Churches, 176-178.
State Street Church, Springfield,
Stelle, Rev. B. G., 182.
Steward, Rev. Ira R., 160.
Stone, Rev. James R., 157.
Stow, Rev. Baron, 190.
St. John, Rev. Frank, 168.
St. Philip's Church, Port Rich-
mond, N. Y., 177, 178
Strong Place Chiu-ch, Brooklyn,
N. Y., 203.
Swan, Elder Jabez, 192.
Swaney, Andrew, 198.
Tabernacle Church : 18, 62-71, 129,
155, 186, 187, 188, 199-201, 204;
Taggart, Rev. Jos. W., 60.
Taylor, Rev. E. E. L., 203.
Taylor, Dr. J. Monroe, 203.
Taylor, Rev. Wm. M., 138.
Thessalonian Church, 174.
Third German Church, Morrisania,
Thompson, John E., 92.
Thomssen, Rev. Geo. N., 176.
Toy, Rev. Daniel S., 177.
Tremont Church, 165, 166.
Trevor, John B., 181.
Trinity Church, 168, 169, 204.
Tucker, Rev. Elisha, 27, 28.
Tucker, Rev. H. H., 190.
Union Church, 39, 159.
Valentine, David T., 199, 200.
Vanderlip, Mr. G. M., 7, 8, 28, 30.
Van Dyke, Francis, 8, 9.
Vassar College, 203.
Wagner, Rev. R. T., 176.
Walker, Rev. B. W., 170.
Walker, Rev. W. W., 156.
Wallis, Rev., 12.
Walsh, Rev. A. Stewart, 38.
Warburton Avenue Church, Yonk-
ers, N. Y., 180, 181.
Warren, Rev. Harry M., 155, 162.
Washington Heights Church, 48,
Washington Market, 194.
Washington Street Methodist
Church, Albany, 110.
Way land. Dr. Francis, 53.
Wayland, Dr. H. L., 57.
Welch, Rev. Bartholomew T., 75,
77, 110, 190.
Welton, Rev. Sidney, 177.
Wesley, John, 109.
West Baptist Church, 5, 18, 63.
West Church, Kreischerville, N.
Westcott, Rev. Isaac, 156.
Westou, Dr. Henry G., 29, 30.
Wharton, Lord, 110.
Wheat, Rev. A. C, 49.
Wheelock, Rev. Alonzo, 60.
White, Rev. Harry C, 118.
Whitehead, James M., 14.
Wilkins, Rev. Stephen, 156.
Willard, Chas. E., 190.
Williams, Rev. John, 14, 21, 40, 53.
Williams, Rev. Leighton, 57, 58.
Williams, Mornay, 58.
Williams, Dr. Wm. R., 7, 53-57.
Wilson, James, 28.
Wintertou, Dea. Wm., 199.
Wisher, Rev. Daniel W., 131, 132,
Wyckoff, Wm. H., 196, 197.
Wynn, Rev. R. D., 26.
Yorkville Church, 155, 162.
Zoar Baptist Church, 9, 10.
Zion Church, 7, 26.
INDEX OF CHURCHES
List of churches comprising the Southern New York
Baptist Association in 1898, following the order of their
First, New York, 3, 7, 8, 24, 25, 150-
Oliver Street (Epiphany), 3, 4, 7, 8,
14, 19-23, 27-34, 53, 62, 178, 185, 189.
Abyssinian, 7, 25, 26.
North Beriah, 156, 160.
South, 7, 36, 38.
Stanton Street (Washington
Heights), 7, 39-48, 72, 167, 202.
North, 7, 36, 49-52.
Amity Street, 7, 53-58, 192.
Zion, 7, 26.
Sixteenth, 7, 59-61.
Broome Street (Cannon Street),
East, 7, 61.
Bethesda, New York, 158, 159.
First Mariners', 60, 160, 161.
Central Park, 162.
Ascension, 162, 163.
Hope Chapel (Calvary), 10, 43, 44,
Hope, 163, 202.
Emmanuel, 129, 131, 163-165.
Tremont, N. Y., 165, 166.
Lexington Avenue, 166.
Alexander Avenue, 166.
Grace (disbanded), 166, 167.
Tabernacle, 18, 62-71, 129, 155, 186,
187, 188, 199-201, 204.
Redeemer, 167, 168.
Trinity, 168, 169, 204.
Riverside, 71, 169, 170.
Beth Eden, 170.
Mount Morris, 161, 162.
Day Star, 173.
First Swedish, 173.
First Italian, 173, 174.
Mount Olivet, 34, 131, 170-173, 175,
Eagle Avenue, 174.
First German, 174, 175.
Second German, 175.
Third German, 175.
First German, Harlem, 176.
Immanuel German, 176.
Sixty-seventh Street German, 176.
Park, Port Richmond, Staten Is-
South, Tottenville, Staten Island,
Mariners' Harbor, Staten Island,
West Kreischerville, Staten Island,
First, New Brighton, Staten Is-
St. Philip's, Staten Island, 177,178.
Madison Avenue, New York, 30,
31, 96, 178, 179.
INDEX OF CHURCHES
Sixth Street, 29. 154, 155.
Bethel, White Plains, 183.
Bethesda, New Rochelle, 183.
Sharon, N. Y., 170.
Second Avenue, 170.
First, Mount Vernon, 180.
First, White Plains, 180.
Warburton Avenue, Yonkers, 180,
Mount Gilead, 170.
North, Port Chester, N. Y., 182.
First, Suffern, N. Y., 182.
Calvary, Suffern, N. Y., 183.
Chappaqua, Chappaqua, N. Y., 183.
Pilgrim, Nyack, 183.
Nepperhan Avenue, Yonkers, 181.
Messiah, Yonkers, 181.
Pilgrim, West Farms, 181, 182, 194.
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